Monday, November 28, 2011
However ... when it had just hit me that I hadn't made that special cake I got a call from my youngest daughter, Kelly ... "Mom, I still have a half of Nonnie's last Applesauce cake in the freezer; should I bring it?" So the tradition continued without that dreaded misstep. :-)
I enoyed many leftovers this morning: the last of the the fall pumpkins and squashes mixed in with apples and Clementines, the last of the flowers that graced the Thanksgiving table and the last of the yummy cake. It seems only fitting that I share it all with you and this leftover Thanksgiving poem written years ago.
I personally had much, much to be thankful for this year... I hope you all did as well, and had a wonderful love-filled holiday.
We make our journey home
each year to pick clean
the Thanksgiving turkey
and rattle family bones.
We know our roles
play them well,
shrink or swell to fit
our place at table,
our spot in photographs,
I wander about the overflowing house
to an empty room and a seat by the window.
Voices fade, the moment surreal,
I strain to see and feel
the ghosts that swirl among
the bronzed leaves of autumns past.
They're all here.
They come to me, chilled
I will them to stay
warm themselves by the fire
that burns in the heart of a family.
Copyright ©2000 Susan M. Kennedy
Thursday, November 17, 2011
I heard somewhere that little boys are mostly noise with dirt on it. lol! That sounds about right to me! What a treasure this noisemaker is!
If a rose blooms and there is no one there to see, does it smell as sweet?
The house behind us is vacant ... I'm afraid under sad circumstances. But while we were playing around I noticed over the fence top the most beautiful roses, clematis, tulip vine. It saddens me to know that there is no one there to enjoy their fragrance with morning coffee or tell them secrets as they trim spent blooms. Maybe I will sneak a few shots through the fence to welcome a new neighbor should one come soon.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
One of Zachary's historical heroes is Leonardo da Vinci. He studied and researched him over the summer - and even built a model orthinopter. You can imagine how thrilled he was to have the honor of portraying da Vinci in his school's recent Multi Cultural Living Museum. He researched period clothing and we scoured Goodwill with happy results ... he wrote his own dialogue, perfected his accent and performed with style and gusto! A touch of a "button" brought each player to life to recite (he says it "felt like about 100 times" throughout the evening.) Leonardo would have been as proud as we were, I'm sure. :-)
Saturday, November 12, 2011
On the Grasshopper and the Cricket
by John Keats
The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper's--he takes the lead
In summer luxury,--he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,
The Grasshopper's among some grassy hills.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Queen Sophie Bell is nearly 16 years old. She's persnickity and grumpy and shows affection to only 3-4 people - "tolerates" another small handful and runs, hides or growls at most all others. To be honest, Sophie is not really very "catlike" ... has a more doggish personality. But we have a special bond. At a particularly low point in my life I went to the animal shelter and was immediately adopted by her when she jumped up on my shoulder, curled into my neck with her nose pressed against my cheek and serenaded me with the loudest purr I'd ever heard. She's spiritually nursed me through many a hard time since ... maybe because I know I was chosen BY her to be here FOR her and she challenges me to do so on a daily basis! I couldn't bear to let her down; it's not an option so she tells me! LOL!
Sophie has always been very skittish outdoors ... doesn't go out alone and doesn't stray far from her exit door, preferring that it stay open for a quick entrance if she gets frightened. That's why we were so alarmed when she went missing a few weeks ago. We replayed every scene of family going in or out when she could have slipped out unnoticed -- and there were a few. We searched the attic because we'd had a repairman up there (although she's never seemed the least bit curious about what's up there)We searched every inch of space inside the house and out ... all of her favorite hidey holes - fearing the worst because of her advanced age -- that she had simply reached her time and passed away in her sleep.
After three days my hopes were dimming and I was fearful each time I thought of a new area of the house to search. After five days I was beginning to allow myself just the tiniest bit of grieving ... just wishing I could find her and put her to rest. Yet I couldn't give up completely; it didn't stop me from looking for her - slowing down as I drove through the neighborhood, calling for her each night when it got quiet enough for me to hear if she responded.
On the seventh night, after the "kitty-kitty, here Sophie" calling ritual I went to bed and was awakened after midnight by my daughter calling, "Mom, come quick, Sophie's HOME!" And there she was, peering in the back door window, the same as her norm (from the other side of the door).
Where she was during that long week we'll likely never know. She's such a scaredy-cat that I can't fathom her being out in the big world alone. And she's such a particular piggy about her food and being fed on schedule that I'm thinking someone must have thought her a stray and taken her in -- maybe until they'd had enough of her persnickity cat self and tossed her back out to us again! ;-) Regardless, it's such a huge weight off my heart to know she's safe and home again - and purring in my ear.
The Cat's Song
Mine, says the cat, putting out his paw of darkness.
My lover, my friend, my slave, my toy, says
the cat making on your chest his gesture of drawing
milk from his mother's forgotten breasts.
Let us walk in the woods, says the cat.
I'll teach you to read the tabloid of scents,
to fade into shadow, wait like a trap, to hunt.
Now I lay this plump warm mouse on your mat.
You feed me, I try to feed you, we are friends,
says the cat, although I am more equal than you.
Can you leap twenty times the height of your body?
Can you run up and down trees? Jump between roofs?
Let us rub our bodies together and talk of touch.
My emotions are pure as salt crystals and as hard.
My lusts glow like my eyes. I sing to you in the mornings
walking round and round your bed and into your face.
Come I will teach you to dance as naturally
as falling asleep and waking and stretching long, long.
I speak greed with my paws and fear with my whiskers.
Envy lashes my tail. Love speaks me entire, a word
of fur. I will teach you to be still as an egg
and to slip like the ghost of wind through the grass.
~ Marge Piercy `
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
The draught and high temps have made me wonder if we'll have a true autumn this year but I'm praying for one however brief. I need that time of transitioning to reset my bodyclock and my mind. But I'll try not to get too far ahead of myself. There is too much to love about the moments at hand; tomorrow will take care of itself.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
These last days of summer have left me weary.
Heat has climbed,
and climbed, reaching
the two crows on their wire,
fading blue black to dust.
The geraniums, cooking in clay pot
once succeeding brilliant
look uncertain, plain...
My energy lags...
clever wit gone dry as my garden.
Brittle thoughts rustle,
cracked and withered in the glare.
I watch the sky for rain.
Copyright ©2000 Susan Kennedy
We've come so close to breaking the record for consecutive days over 100 degrees and I just wanted to smack the silly tv weather persons for hoping for it! I'm pretty sure that in my little corner of Texas we did. 46 straight days of mostly 102-109 temps ... then a break of two days barely below 100 and we've started another heat streak. Yesterday WAS a record-breaking 107 for the date in Texas.
It's actually been too miserable outside past noon each day to enjoy summer the way we normally do. Pool and lake water is tepid at best, bathwater warm at worst and not worth the risk of blistered feet to get to it! I could whine for a while about the loss of our more carefree, fun summer days, but that wouldn't make it any cooler, would it? We've made do with movies, trips to the library and walks after dark. I'm just so thankful that the air conditioners in house and car are holding out for us and the threatened rolling blackouts haven't actually happened as yet and (though it's not enough) we are still allowed to water grass and shrubs 2X a week and sprinkler play with the kids & pets during that time becomes really special. I guess we'll know the true extent of the damage to root systems and foundation later. First lack of time made my house & yard look sad and neglected ... now I have just a bit more time and there is not much left to tend!
I was so hoping to get back to the beach this summer, but Hub's vacation time has been put off, postponed and finally vetoed outright due to changes within his company. Scary stuff and there is always the sense that one dare not complain in this economy! Now there is talk about working through the upcoming Labor Day holiday as well ... not a good thing ... and I worry about him.
School starts Monday and I feel for those poor teachers and students; heat does not make for happy, energetic instruction nor enthusiastic, cooperative learning! Oh, what a good rain and cooler temps will do for the spirits around here as well as the green and flowering things! Come on, Fall!!
***Note: As you can see, I started working on this post last weekend - and never had time to finish it. Not much has changed wrt the heat, that's for sure - other than we've truly beaten more than a few records now. I think we've now had 69 days of temps over 100 for the year.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Heather is my sweet niece and so it was extra important to me that this special day was beautifully captured for her, Matt and little Alyssa. What a precious little family they are now! With nearly 400 shots from pre-wedding, ceremony and reception I can honestly say that I don't think I missed many of those special moments! ;-)
Heather was a lovely bride:
Monday, August 1, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
"Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn't illegal." Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet) (1694-1778) French philosopher.
"My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it's on your plate that's my philosophy."
Ok, so these photos are early summer - before it became absolutely mandatory to close every curtain and shade tightly against our Texas heat (and the electric bills)! After 19 straight days of temps over 100 F. summer is no longer my favorite season. I'm discovering that I suffer from light deprivation unless I brave the heat some every day! ;-)
Friday, June 17, 2011
Summer in the South
~ by Paul Laurence Dunbar ~
The oriole sings in the greening grove
As if he were half-way waiting,
The rosebuds peep from their hoods of green,
Timid and hesitating.
The rain comes down in a torrent sweep
And the nights smell warm and piney,
The garden thrives, but the tender shoots
Are yellow-green and tiny.
Then a flash of sun on a waiting hill,
Streams laugh that erst were quiet,
The sky smiles down with a dazzling blue
And the woods run mad with riot.
"This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it."
My grandmother quoted this scripture often as she shooed all us kids out the door to play outside ... (the same straight backed and stern woman who refused to sew my skirt hem before church one Sunday morning because "Every stitch you sew on Sunday you take out with your nose on Monday!" My own mom used the verse in a more gentle way ... reminding me to focus on the good parts of a bad day.
I had a literature teacher in high school who would begin each class with the exclamation, "Carpe Diem! This IS the day!" Then she would recite this verse. She would never get away with that these days (wouldn't be politically "correct") but I adored her and the excitement she brought to us each day was contagious.
Later I had a friend who signed all her notes this way (she still does 45 years later!) and it never fails to make me stop and think.
In college I had another literature teacher (so then I understood the constant reference from the first!) who obviously felt very at home in the "seize the day", "make hay while the sun shines", carpe diem theme of Horace's Odes. She spent an inordinate amount of time expounding on this period, dissecting most every word for meaning, nuance, purpose, reference, insinuation; she made it come alive for me and now I'm compelled to do the same - connecting the writer's words with his time when I read anything of a historical nature.
When I saw this cup, with its hefty $1.00 price tag, it felt like a gift. Not a day goes by now that my thoughts don't touch on those special women and times of my life when I reach for a pen - and I'm glad for each of them ... and the day..
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Just before it "all hit the fan" I had committed to my first wedding shoot in Louisiana and I'm so glad I didn't let circumstances keep me from it; it was a huge success and Sassafras Photos is now up and running! More on that later ... but in the meantime if you're moved to do so you might check out my Sassafras blog, website & Facebook through these links:
(my Facebook page is really new, and if I'm understanding the process correctly I have to hit 25 "likes" on it before having my own Sassafras I.D.
Things are still in a state of flux for us all at the moment, but there is more breathing room and I'm cautiously optimistic that positives are at work. My youngest daughter took over my responsibilities for the day as a lovely and much appreciated birthday present and I spent two hours of it hiking through the Texas Wildflowers around the pond - then came home for a short nap and gave myself a much needed mani/pedi! The girl gets extra stars in her crown if moms get to vote!
Friday, June 3, 2011
The daisy is often described as sunny.
for the Creative Bride
and toss its petals to the ground
Sunday, March 13, 2011
. ~~ by Sarah Getty
Look! A flash of orange along the river's edge--
"oriole!" comes to your lips like instinct, then
it's vanished--lost in the foliage,
in all your head holds, getting on with the day.
But not gone for good. There is that woman
walks unseen beside you with her apron
pockets full. Days later, or years, when you least
seem to need it--reading Frost on the subway,
singing over a candled cake--she'll reach
into a pocket and hand you this intact
moment--the river, the orange streak parting
the willow, and the "oriole!" that leapt
to your lips. Unnoticed, steadfast, she gathers
all this jumble, sorts it, hands it back like
prizes from Crackerjack. She is your mother,
who first said, "Look! a robin!" and pointed,
and there was a robin, because her own
mother had said to her, "Look!" and pointed,
and so on, back to the beginning: the mother,
the child, and the world. The damp bottom
on one arm and pointing with the other:
the peach tree, the small rocks in the shallows,
the moon and the man in the moon. So you keep on,
seeing, forgetting, faithfully followed;
and you yourself, unwitting, gaining weight,
have thinned to invisibility, become
that follower. Even now, your daughter
doesn't see you at her elbow as she walks
the beach. There! a gull dips to the Pacific,
and she points and says to the baby, "Look!"
Uploaded by Sparky2* on 13 Mar 11, 2.59PM CDT.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Fishing in Winter
~~ by Ralph Burns ~~
A man staring at a small lake sees
His father cast light line out over
The willows. He's forgotten his
Father has been dead for two years
And the lake is where a blue fog
Rolls, and the sky could be, if it
Were black or blue or white,
The backdrop of all attention.
He wades out to join the father,
Following where the good strikes
Seem to lead. It's cold. The shape
Breath takes on a cold day is like
Anything else--a rise on a small lake,
The Oklahoma hills, blue scrub--
A shape already inside a shape,
Two songs, two breaths on the water.
I'm so hoping I didn't alarm this gentleman as I stalked his "color red" for a couple of miles and hours around the pond in frigid temps! This is one dedicated fisherman! Hmmmm.... guess the same could be said about the silly photographer!
Friday, January 28, 2011
... greet visitors at the door. The brown and gold Mister on the left was mine ... bought for me by my dad the day I was born. He's held up to the years much better than I have! The dapper fellow on the right is a Vermont Teddy Bear ... a Valentine gift from the Other Man in my life.
The framed images are mine (all children and grands) and actually the entire purpose of the shot - for a picture in picture group challenge in Flickr! But I found that I love all of the sentimental "homey" things here that - if you know me, maybe even if you don't ... tell you a little something. ;-)
And what the image doesn't tell you ... the poem to follow will. ;-)
To Chloe: Who for his sake wished herself younger
~~ William Cartwright ~~
There are two births; the one when light
First strikes the new awaken’d sense;
The other when two souls unite,
And we must count our life from thence:
When you loved me and I loved you
Then both of us were born anew.
Love then to us new souls did give
And in those souls did plant new powers;
Since when another life we live,
The breath we breathe is his, not ours:
Love makes those young whom age doth chill,
And whom he finds young keeps young still.
Uploaded by Sparky2* on 28 Jan 11, 9.00PM CST.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
The rest of the family went for a long walk yesterday and I stayed behind to finish up some chores. When I next looked up I realized the sun was going down and it was getting much colder. I knew that jackets had been left at home because of the sunny, almost spring- like weather, and I worried they'd all be feeling the sudden chill. Knowing that they had probably headed for the pond I grabbed jackets and my camera and set off to find them.
They weren't at the pond ... in fact, they were back at home already -- we'd crossed paths at some point unaware ... but I did snap a couple of shots at pondside. The first in a long time. Think I'll go out today for more.
In Blackwater Woods
by Mary Oliver in "American Primative"
Look, the trees
their own bodies
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
the long tapers
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders
of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
Uploaded by Sparky2* on 23 Jan 11, 12.07PM CST.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Shortly after our visit my mom became ill and I was so immersed in her care and later the grieving, that many of my own life experiences sort of ... fell by the wayside, so to speak. They were put on hold in the back of my mind, I suppose, to allow me space to process the more immediate.
I'm returning now to photos and notes and thoughts ... savoring the good stuff.
Like sharing spiced chai in her lovely kitchen.
So much of this image speaks to me of her - her interests, her talents, her heart, her home - where a part of my heart is always.
Uploaded by Sparky2* on 19 Jan 11, 11.30AM CST.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I love to visit his photo stream and dream of free, uninterrupted time in one of his cabins with the amazing vistas to inspire me much as MacDowell inspired Ms. Wetzsteon in her wonderful poem. Then I happened to see this in my own backyard ... It will do until I can get to that cabin at Elephant Head Lodge. Now if only the photo and my patient muse will hold the thoughts until there is time to string them together!
~ by Rachel Wetzsteon~
For once I fought back,
answering Oh yes, someday
when a restless muse asserted
This golden age needs treatment on the page.
It was the strangest lesson—
all that ink to make me think
shadows were real, this silence
when one true heart so manifestly was.
Time passed. Themes amassed;
I scoffed at amber, basked in oxygen.
Now in this little cabin
where no sightings slake my cravings
and my pen gets back its need to conjure,
on the ingots I have stored, oh pine, opine.
*****MacDowell is an artist colony.Uploaded by Sparky2* on 17 Jan 11, 12.23PM CST.
This spot on the chair's arm was our sunbeam's first landing ... an appropriate and loving reminder of my mom. I'll explain ...
I have the pair of these two wonderful chairs; they were my mom's years ago. When she remarried and was blending households she was ready to toss them and I intervened. I remember when she bought them ... her first time to really "decorate" her home with new furniture ... she was so excited and proud of her choices - and she truly did a beautiful job. These chairs are well made and have timeless, classic lines; I've loved them long. They need to be updated with new upholstry, but I'll never tire of their form! And I'll certainly never tire of the memories they prompt when touched by an unexpected sunbeam!
Altars of Light
~~ by Pierre Joris ~~
If the light is the soul
then soul is what's
all around me.
It is you,
it is around you too,
it is you.
The darkness is inside me,
the opaqueness of organs folded
to make light in the house of
thus to bring the
the impossible job.
And the only place to become
the border, the inbetween, where
dark meets light, where I meets
In the house of world the
many darknesses are surrounded
To see the one, we need
the other / it cuts both ways
light on light is blind
dark on dark is blind
light through dark is not
dark through light is movement
dark through light becomes,
to move through
light is becoming,
we can know.
Uploaded by Sparky2* on 15 Jan 11, 5.57PM CST.