Thursday, December 30, 2004

Penultimate Day of 2004

We've been shopping, eating Mexican dinner at the new restaurant, and I finished Brunelleschi's Dome by Ross King, about the building of the Duomo in Florence Italy. Small book, interesting. Good winter reading, although not as good as the reread I'm engaged in of Bleak House.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Back from Christmas in West Virginia

December 26
Back from WV, ate homemade peanut brittle and fudge and cookies and Abruzzino bakery pecan pie and sticky buns from Weaver's in Hancock, MD, and lots of Joel and Andy with dueling computers on the kitchen table and cooking and washing dishes with my mother and worry about my dad who is eating less, not even demanding candy, probably depressed. The santa on the tree is one that has been on every tree since he was born: starting in 1917 when he was six weeks old! There is a delicate old ceramic bell, too, but it is so delicate my mother only puts it on the tree for a little while and then takes it off. We visited Margie Hardesty and Ina, saw Edith Burnett, bought Mom's exercycle, and generally were busy, and not there very long so I feel guilty. Driving back, snow on the ground in West Virginia and Maryland, then none in Pennsylvania, then snow in New Jersey!

Hazy gold treetips
Green black hillside evergreens:
The pink of winter!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

December 23

We're off to sunny-- well, closer to the sun in altitude anyhow-- West Virginia tomorrow morning. I've got tons of gifts, have to buy a can of sweet potatoes and marshmallows to go with Mom's turkey breast and stuffing and stuff. She had to get a new stove– just delivered Monday, after a lifetime of the old Tappan, which finally was mostly not working and often smelling of gas. She was down to two burners and a possible explosion.
Yesterday, Joel's old babysitter (from when she was a student) Charlene stopped by– great to see her, and we sent her home with a bag of frozen garden sauce from my garden–my tomatoes, basil, etc, but I guess it had commercial onions and garlic as I've pretty much given upon growing them. I pulled up two of the sunbrella-cold frames yesterday to get some lovely lettuce, Winter Marvel and Brune d'hiver, but the ground was more frozen that I realized, and I think I did some damage to the sunbrellas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Happy Winter Solstice

December 21
Solstice, and now the days will get longer! My son is home from college, and we'll all be going to West Virginia to visit my parents for Christmas. We're an all-denominational family: Christmas and Hanukkah, and I just learned about Diwali this year (I was reading The Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri). And our local school district in New Jersey has been making national news because of a disagreement about the interpretation of No Religious Celebrations with a probably overly strict interpretation in the musical performance area. We've got a suit from a right wing foundation that, ironically enough, names itself after Thomas More, and lots of jokes from radio guys, and now a New Jersey gubernatorial hopeful comes to demonstrate by singing Christmas carols in front of the high school where they're having the Winter Concert. Busy, busy, busy

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Fresh Kale from the Garden!

December 18
Such a pleasure today to go down and cut a fair amount of kale fro the garden (plus a little mustard greens and collards and komatsura) to go in a sausage soup. Sun shining, cold, ground hard with a little frost in the shady places. This feels like a good day: Joel comes home tomorrow evening, we're driving to West Virginia in a few days to check on my parents and be with them for

Friday, December 17, 2004

Strangers are visiting my Blog, I presume through BLog Explosion-- it's actually an odd feeling, that a kind sounding individual from Los Angeles read my blog from last Sunday and liked my photo. She says she's a Christian, and asked me if I ever thought of writing a book. That was a compliment, of course, to my writing. If anyone is interested, I've published twelve books, or more, depending on how you count them. My book page lists them all.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Winter sky

December 12, 2004
I really love winter sky– I've been out for a walk, after getting a Coalition executive committee meeting ready for tonight, and before going to the meeting. We've had two days of rain followed by two days of gray, but just as I was going up Midland Boulevard and about to turn south again, all of a sudden there was a break in the clouds, and the low sun broke through and made the trees and houses had this magical gilded-glow briefly. Then it faded, but there was still a nice mix of gray blue and white overhead, and a little later a muted glare between two layers of nimbus.
Nine days until solstice, and then lengthening days. I'm facing a lot of travelling in the next month–West Virginia, possibly a real vacation with airplanes, too, which would thrill most people, but scares me spitless