Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Rabbit, Rabbit





I usually post a "Rabbit, Rabbit" image at Facebook on the first day of each month.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. "Rabbit rabbit rabbit" is a superstition found in Britain and North America wherein a person says or repeats the words "rabbit", "rabbits" and/or "white rabbits" aloud upon waking on the first day of a month, to ensure good luck for the rest of it."

But since I'm not spending as much time at Facebook these days, Meanderings and Muses is a nice place to continue the tradition.





p.s. -
I'm fine.
Truly.
Not to worry.





Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Memories in photograph albums




My dad died in 1984. 


One of the things my mom and I did before moving from Atlanta to Boone in 1997 was go through several hundreds of photos.

(I get my "camera love" from my dad)


It was a painful, joyous, tearful, laugh-filled time.  

Lots of "omg, remember this?!"


And some "WHO is that?!"  


Pictures of people neither of us remembered, but who we knew weren't family members, were finally tossed.


And she decided which pictures she wanted to keep and gave me the rest. 


After we moved to Boone, before I found a job and while Donald was at work, my mom and I would spend days putting pictures in photo albums. 

This was easier on our hearts than that first step of going through them all.

The surprises were behind us, and the memories were sweet.

And we laughed.

Those were good days.



Then my mom died in 2015.


I was now retired, and Donald was still working.


I spent several days going through her apartment deciding what to do with what, and Donald would come over in the evenings to help.


Again, wow - memories.  They can knock a person flat.



We brought this box of photo albums home with us.






Photos I haven't seen since 1997.


I haven't been able to bring myself to open the first album.


But it may be time.


I've been missing my folks.  A lot.


It would be nice to be able to pick up the phone and talk about how we're feeling right now.  


Honestly?  Some days I feel sad and frightened and need a hug from my mom and dad.


Hear my mom toss out some of her salty philosophy, while my dad wears a grin at her dramatics and nods his head.


So.


Since I can't sit across the table from them for Sunday dinner, maybe it's time for me to relive some memories that are all tied up in these photo albums.


I love and miss them both.



Hazel and Al Wilkinson


By Herself and Her Friends

If I should go before the rest of you
Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone,
Nor when I'm gone speak in a Sunday voice
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must, Parting is hell,
But Life goes on, So sing as well.


Joyce Grenfell



Sunday, June 21, 2020

Father's Day



“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.”
        ― Umberto Eco, Foucault's Pendulum


Alan W. Wilkinson



Miss you, dad.

xxoo
Kaye Alan



Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The End of the Peonies


Peonies just don't last long enough.


And I'm always sad when their season comes to an end.


Invariably, we have enough rain to help them scatter their petals on the ground and that's what happened this year.

Days and days of rain.


So I snipped a few to enjoy in the house before they were completely beheaded.


With the window open a crack I can enjoy the fragrance.




And now I have to wait another year for them to show their fancy frilly selves.









Peonies by Mary Oliver
This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers

and they open ---
pools of lace,
white and pink ---
and all day the black ants climb over them,

boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away

to their dark, underground cities ---
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,

the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems holding

all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again ---
beauty the brave, the exemplary,

blazing open.
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?

Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and softly,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,

with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?





Thursday, June 11, 2020

Sharing a few of our peonies with you



Some years the peonies do better than others.

This is a good year.


And I'm glad.


I'm needing some peonies in my life right now.





















Have to have a few in the house too.  Especially on my nightstand.




And, this is for my mom.
This was her favorite flower, and what she carried down the aisle at my wedding.

Donald planted a small bed of them in her honor.





Peonies: A Poem by Mary Oliver
This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers
and they open —
pools of lace,
white and pink —
and all day the black ants climb over them,
boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away
to their dark, underground cities —
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,
the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems holding
all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again —
beauty the brave, the exemplary,
blazing open.
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?
Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and softly,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,
with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?


Wednesday, June 10, 2020

In the Kitchen


Baking!


Trying a new recipe.


I saw this particular recipe at Facebook and was immediately intrigued.


I've made chocolate cakes before, but never one that called for a cup of brewed coffee.









And I've made buttercream frosting before, but never one like this.








And I gotta say, it was a lot of work for just a Tuesday night cake!






But DELISH






And, it got me away from the news for a little while.


If you want to give it a try, here's the recipe, including a helpful video.



Bon Appétit 







Monday, June 8, 2020

2020 ANTHONY AWARD NOMINEES


ANTHONY AWARDS

June 8, 2020
SACRAMENTO—Bouchercon, the world mystery convention, is pleased to announce the nominees for its prestigious Anthony Award. Awards voting will take place during Virtual Bouchercon, October 16–7, 2020, and the awards will be presented as part of an online ceremony on October 17.

2020 ANTHONY AWARD NOMINEES

BEST NOVEL
Your House Will Pay, by Steph Cha (Ecco)
They All Fall Down, by Rachel Howzell Hall (Forge)
Lady in the Lake, by Laura Lippman (William Morrow)
The Murder List, by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge)
Miami Midnight, by Alex Segura (Polis Books)

BEST FIRST NOVEL
The Ninja Daughter, by Tori Eldridge (Agora Books)
Miracle Creek, by Angie Kim (Sarah Crichton Books)
One Night Gone, by Tara Laskowski (Graydon House)
Three-Fifths, by John Vercher (Agora Books)
American Spy, by Lauren Wilkinson (Random House)

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL**
The Unrepentant, by E.A. Aymar (Down & Out Books)
Murder Knocks Twice, by Susanna Calkins (Minotaur)
The Pearl Dagger, by L.A. Chandlar (Kensington)
Scot & Soda, by Catriona McPherson (Midnight Ink)
The Alchemist’s Illusion, by Gigi Pandian (Midnight Ink)
Drowned Under, by Wendall Thomas (Poisoned Pen Press)
The Naming Game, by Gabriel Valjan (Winter Goose Press)

BEST CRITICAL NON-FICTION WORK
Hitchcock and the Censors, by John Billheimer (University Press of Kentucky)
The Hooded Gunman: An Illustrated History of the Collins Crime Club, by John Curran (Collins Crime Club)
The Mutual Admiration Society: How Dorothy L. Sayers and her Oxford Circle Remade the World for Women, by Mo Moulton (Basic Books)
The Trail of Lizzie Borden: A True Story, by Cara Robertson (Simon & Schuster)
The Five: The Untold Stories of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper, by Hallie Rubenhold (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

BEST SHORT STORY
“Turistas,” by Hector Acosta (appearing in ¡Pa’que Tu Lo Sepas!: Stories to Benefit the People of Puerto Rico)
“Unforgiven,” by Hilary Davidson (appearing in Murder a-Go-Gos: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Music of the Go-Gos)
“The Red Zone,” by Alex Segura (appearing in ¡Pa’que Tu Lo Sepas!: Stories to Benefit the People of Puerto Rico)
“Better Days,” by Art Taylor (appearing in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, May/June 2019)
“Hard Return,” by Art Taylor (appearing in Crime Travel)

BEST ANTHOLOGY OR COLLECTION
The Eyes of Texas: Private Investigators from the Panhandle to the Piney Woods, edited by Michael Bracken (Down & Out Books)
¡Pa’que Tu Lo Sepas!: Stories to Benefit the People of Puerto Rico, edited by Angel Luis Colón (Down & Out Books)
Crime Travel, edited by Barb Goffman (Wildside Press)
Malice Domestic 14: Mystery Most Edible, edited by Verena Rose, Rita Owen, and Shawn Reilly Simmons (Wildside Press)
Murder A-Go-Go’s: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Music of the Go-Gos, edited by Holly West (Down & Out Books)

BEST YOUNG ADULT**
Seven Ways to Get Rid of Harry, by Jen Conley (Down & Out Books)
Catfishing on CatNet, by Naomi Kritzer (Tor Teen)
Killing November, by Adriana Mather (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Patron Saints of Nothing, by Randy Ribay (Kokila)
The Deceivers, by Kristen Simmons (Tor Teen)
Wild and Crooked, by Leah Thomas (Bloomsbury YA)

** This year, there are two categories with more than five nominees. This is the result of a tie for fifth place. When this occurs, according to Bouchercon standing rules, all of the authors who have tied become nominees. 

Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization that holds an annual convention attended by readers, writers, publishers, editors, agents, booksellers, and other lovers of crime fiction. Its annual Anthony Awards are named for writer and book critic Anthony Boucher and are one of crime fiction’s most prestigious and coveted awards.



Congratulations to all the nominees! 
So much fun to see the names of so many friends.    I am proud to know you. ❤️

Friday, June 5, 2020

This is a statement. 

It's not meant to start a conversation. 

In fact, I'll delete any comments. 

This is about how I feel. 

And it's about cops. 

Do I know there are good cops out there? 

Of course I do. 

But if I'm in trouble - say my car breaks down on one of these mountain roads, or any other sort of emergency that might happen during the course of normal life. 

Will I hope for help from police? 

Will I seek one out? 

Simple answer. 

No. 

I don't give two figs if the percentage of bad cops to good cops is 1 in 60 beezillion. 

That one is too many, and I will always, ALWAYS, be frightened that that's the one I'll run into. 

After watching that cop in Buffalo just casually shove a 75 year old man out of his way. 

Just flicked at him like he was a annoyance similar to a fly buzzing around his head. 

Shoved him. 

Didn't hesitate. 

Showed not one ounce of concern when the man fell and you could hear the crack of his head hitting the sidewalk. 

Showed not one ounce of concern while the man bled profusely from his ear, unconcious. 

And his comrads walked right by, they too apparently unconcerned and with no compassionate regard for a human life. 

This man was nothing to them. 

An annoyance. 

A human life. 

If that's how one cop can feel, if that's how one cop can act, that's more than enough for me. 

Our law enforcement system if broken. 

It's waited for a donald trump to give it permission to wear the riot gear that makes a small man feel strong. 

Validated. 

Bless his heart. 

In reality that man is nothing. 

No more than a thug, a punk. 

A stain on what should be an organization we all should feel like is covering our back. 

One of "The Helpers." 

Who do I go to now, Mr. Rogers?


Wednesday, June 3, 2020

I cannot begin to imagine what people of color are feeling; I'm not going to pretend I do. 

I've been doing a lot of reading to try to find ways to understand and help me do better. 

But some of what I'm reading has been written by white women - women just like me. 

How can they be so wise while I'm stumbling so?

I've finally decided - they can't. 

Those women just like me? 

They can't know any more than I can and I'm embarrassed for them. 

For their preaching. 

For their inability to realize they should be listening instead of speaking. 

So, the best I can do right now is to say, from my heart, I'm sorry. 

I'm sorry for all of us. 

What I CAN do is vote.


Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Trying to find a way to do better


Like so many, I'm at a point of needing to do something. 

What? 

I want to do positive things. 

I was silly enough to allow myself to be pulled into a will of words last night at Facebook.  I thought I knew better. 

A person righteously accusing anyone not engaging with him and agreeing with his point of view right then as apolitical. 

God forbid. 

Apolitcal. 

Me. 

yeah - as if. 

I've always been of the opinion that if you don't have the heart, the intelligence, the guts to speak out about what you believe then you're part of the problem. 

Sitting on the fence pretending to be a diplomat is pure divisiveness, and dangerous. 

As one of my heroes, Elie Wiesel, said, "We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." 

I very deeply believe this. 

But the forum where this exchange happened was, in my opinion, not the right forum. 

Maybe I was wrong. 

Any more I'm just not really too sure of anything. 

I was SO sure this country was too smart to end up with donald trump as its president. 

It's gone downhill from there. 

In my "what can I do" searches I found an article that gives me ideas for places to donate, to support, along with some suggestions for reading. 

Research reading is always my first step. In the meantime, while horrified at what is happening on our streets right now, I am lifted by words and actions I'm seeing from people who are finally coming to realize Mr. Wiesel was a very brave and smart guy. 

The source of this article may seem questionable to some, but it is, at least for me, a good starting place.  Not only does it give me some options to support financially, the articles themselves reasonated with me.

https://www.marieclaire.com/politics/a32712559/how-to-help-george-floyd-protests-donate/?source=nl&utm_source=nl_mar&utm_medium=email&date=060120&utm_campaign=nl20489021



And - another link to 15 Social Justice Organizations to considering support:


https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/money-and-power/g32730417/george-floyd-blm-how-to-donate-help/?source=nl&utm_source=nl_tnc&utm_medium=email&date=060220&utm_campaign=nl20494783