Category Archives: home

rings of eternal strength

Friend, artist, and current Berkeley Springs neighbor* Michael Gotwald gave me two iron hoops he no longer needed for the wheels for his non-existent buggy.  I buried the bigger one in the meadow and mowed a fairy ring around it.

The smaller one is suspended at the end of the porch, creating a visual hook but not a barrier. Inside it is a small element of fired clay.

*His sweet place on Hageman Street is for sale.

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the past is prologue

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William moves on in the Berkeley Springs renovation, last weekend tearing down bedroom walls with the intent of putting up better ones. Soon.

There on the electrical box is a chunk of plaster from the demo — hidden under paint, wallpaper and paneling — that happens to match the bathrobe on the goose painting in the kitchen up there.

Coincidence? or just spooky?

photo by me, October 2015

catching up

7 January 2015 — Catching up on daily poems.

The sun is shining,
I found the studio keys.
I’ll probably live.

Yesterday I stuck the keys in a book and couldn’t go to the studio. I almost cried. Now I feel better.

6 January 2015

I shop for yogurt
Avoiding pectin, corn starch.
It’s not so easy.

Yogurt is supposed to me just milk and the little germs that transform it.

5 January 2015

Tim’s resolutions:
no numbers, no cigarettes.
He’ll save a bundle.

He thinks quitting smoking and small-stakes gambling will keep a hundred dollars a week warm in his pocket.

the long and winding road

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4 January 2015

Haiku for today (a day late):

A got a bit lost
On the wandering road home
By Maryland 28.

But I may have happened on to that abandoned gas station I have been looking for.  In my ear by audio book:  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

 

the larder fills and empties, the to-do list grows

3 January 2015 (out of range for a few days)

Haiku for today:

The sky is leaden,
Rain falls liquid and solid.
Best stay warm in bed.

Well, William did, deservedly, until about 10. I favor inclement weather, so got up earlier at the sound of rain on a metal roof, to make coffee, build a fire, write some words, and enjoy this transforming place.

Those tasks planned for the first day of the new year are accomplished, and more. I also baked bread, turned dry beans into a soup, made a list of what’s needed and procured supplies for the “larder.” (Listening to Bill Bryson’s At Home as an audio book, we learned the origin of that term is not really lard, but rather the word for “bacon,” and thus referred to the room where meats and food were stored.) I have spent some time with poetry books and with pottery magazines, where I did not look at just the pictures, but also read the stories, learning about glazes and kilns, what I should know but do not.

The accomplishments of these first days lead to new ideas for more projects — domestic, artistic and linguistic.

just need to fill up the punch bowl

Whew. Holiday decorating nearly done.

First we retrieve the yule branch from the basement.  It meets many of the criteria of our lives — minimalist, pretty cheap, “green,” a bit crafty.

It has a back story.  In life, this magnolia branch started out as part of a Casey Trees planting (I should say the mighty Casey Trees!) in the triangle park on our street.  Despite our attention and watering, it died.  When the poor dead soul finally fell over and started to migrate into the street from natural forces, we picked it up, trimmed it a bit, and William went at it with white paint.

yule branch

Then I find among our office supplies the Colorformesque sticky gel tree, and arrange its parts on the bathroom door.

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All that’s left is filling the punch bowl.

Happy holidays.  Find some good news somewhere around you.

 

when you wash the dishes, they also wash you

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When I was little, washing dishes was a shared activity. Washing with my Grandma Swanson in Cloquet, Minnesota, is one of the clear memories I have of her.  She said to use really hot water, dried plates and glasses with a cloth — no air-drying. She talked about things — she was the mother for all my father’s teenage friends, the one who made sure they bought corsages for the prom.

Was she a calm person, or is it the hands and arms in warm water that is soothing to everyone?   That association will always stick for me.

Note to architects:  the kitchen sink must pair with a window.

CIMG2337Our kitchen at Berkeley Springs, November 2014 (photo mine).