February Thoughts

1. This morning I went out into the world and found it a winter wonderland of white, where every twig stood out beautifully coated with snow….all just waiting to plop down on you, except for the places where the snow was already showering down in spots. Beware those who think just because the sun is out means their heads don’t need to be covered! It was quite a thing.

2. My work computer continually informed me that I was creating records at 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, 1969. Clearly, I have become a time-traveler and the computer’s slowness is simply a sign it’s compiling energy for our next adventure!

3. I know I’m late to the game on this, but I need people to stop citing the way Plushenko’s coach got cameramen to emphasize Evgeni’s distress and back scars as a reason to think it was all a scheme. Your top and only skater pulls out-in a homeland Olympics-in Russia-of COURSE you immediately do everything in your power to emphasize the reasons why he couldn’t go on and how it’s a real injury. That’s not premeditation, that’s just good sense. Evgeni Plushenko is the Tsar on Ice-you don’t just expect people to watch him retire and not try to explain why as much as you possibly can, even if it’s just for fans, and Evgeni’s got the government to deal with, too.

4. This February seems to be lasting a long time. *eyebrow raise*

Enter: Nature’s Halloween

As I’ve been traipsing about this fine autumn, I’ve seen a lot of beauty and a lot of color, as expected of my favorite season. Yet, suddenly, this week even the most normal things have taken on a certain…quality:

It started off, predictably enough, with pumpkins:

Please Park Bikes Below and Brooms above:

Even nature needs some fake cobwebs:

They’re putting on their scaring side!:
Don’t tell me you don’t see that frowning mouth and that glare!

And their spooky faces:

Thanks for joining me on this tour of nature’s Halloween garb! Please exit carefully on your brooms and fly with vigilance so you don’t get caught up in any weblike limbs!

Meet the Baby Liligers!


Lions and ligers and liligers, oh my!!!  This is like my favorite evidence that the world just keeps on getting cuter, even when it’s also obnoxious things ever!  Ligers are already cool, but liligers-the offspring of a lion and a liger!  They are considered safe with their parents!  They are full of spots and fuzziness!  The first month is considered important not just for their health, but also because that’s how long the Russian trainers have to figure out their personalities and come up with a “suitable name”!  The summer solstice is here, and clearly there are new things to celebrate.  Huzzah!

Meet the Baby Liligers Born in a Russian Zoo | TIME.com.

May Queen poem 2013

“Darling May”


Wendy Darling, bud of May,

Shake your future and past away.

Offer the world a nurturing hand,

May brings change to even Neverland.


But change is cruel and often rough,

with winds too full and not enough,

Full of riches, seeds, and nature’s joy

to plant over the dreams of a boy.


No more pixie dust or flying air,

now there’s lilacs and growing roots there.

Reality turns beautiful with its May Queen,

but it never comes close to memories I’ve seen.


Phantoms of those who are now lost,

the peace of time frozen within a frost,

the comfort of seeing life where I can believe,

All this, Darling May forces to leave.


It’s a story Mother Earth always tells,

We live to miss others, as savage as hells,

Yet we’re told that Spring is for smiles,

As May brings time’s green, like snapping crocodiles.


It’s time to grow past, really give them up,

The Queen’s stories call you to drink from her cup.

Come home to beauty, the world, and to you-

With all the dead shadows and souls that flew.


May’s strong magic isn’t happy or nice,

She bewitches even as she rules sacrifice.

In the land shook up with what’s Darling and grows,

We give into our nevers and what our heart knows:


That nothing’s the same as our springs’ bud,

Magic dust churns with change into spring’s mud.


Now, darling, you’re alone with a life to lead,

but to those who are lost, there’s no May Queen to heed.

No winds can shake them, and time, never-

So only they can keep, and stay forever.


This is the second year I’ve decided to make a well-known literary heroine a May Queen figure.  It’s surprisingly easy to see the lore of the May Queen figure in others, when you look.  For last yea’rs Katniss poem, go here: https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/modern-may-queen/



A Tea Song

A Tea Song to celebrate the first of December and the first real snowfall.


“Tea Song”


The kettle is on,

About to sing its smoke-sweet song.

We’ll pour it in shares,

comforting to our cares,

As the aroma erases what’s wrong.


Set out the mugs!

It’s time to pour our liquid hugs,

And get out the honey,

the sugar, and milk

to stir into our drink deep.


There’s herbs and there’s spice

to make our world nice

As we sip from the magic we’ve steeped.

It’ll flow to our toes,

Curing as it knows,

And the warmth is for us to keep.


Set out the mugs!

It’s time to pour our liquid hugs,

And get out the honey,

the sugar, and milk

to stir into our drink deep.


Crossposted on http://onerunetofindthem.wordpress.com/

National Hermit Day

With Hurricane Sandy coming on, it’s far easier than usual to celebrate a day dedicated to holing up on your own, relaxing, and just watching the rest of the world.  Happy National Hermit Day!  Stay in and prosper.


You don’t need to fear the storm-

Inside your home it’s nice and warm.

Today’s the day to honor bed,

and get out of work instead.

Remember as you break your fast,

the coming hours serve your repast.

The only time is weather’s hit,

so settle in to be a hermit!

The White Graffiti of Gondor

Images from my walk today-finally bringing the white Tree of Kings from Minas Tirith naturally into my everyday life.

Also, I believe one goose was staring very hard at this.  Perhaps the geese fill the role of stewards and they don’t like to be reminded they don’t actually own the city.



By: Monica Furlong


Random House Sprinters 1990

A middle grade fantasy review


The only child of a Cornish chieftan, Juniper’s lived all her life with wealth, community, and politics.  As a daughter instead of a son, will she be powerful enough to rule one day?  Will she marry?  Or was she meant to do something different?  When her godmother, the powerful witch Euny, calls her to study magic, Juniper does not know where it will take her.  Through unexpected hardships and hard-earned lessons, Juniper seeks to find her own way in life.  However, Cornwall contains evil sorcerers as well as dorans, and Juniper must use her knowledge to protect those she loves and discover who she should become.

Juniper is a gentle book, with strong themes that glide through everything and tie it all together.  It’s easy to read, with a rhythmic pace that invites you to keep going.  One feels that they are learning along with the heroine, becoming more in tune to some elements in the world.  This harmonic tone is the charm of this book.  As a prequel, it’s focus is on growth and coming-of-age, with small doses of action and only the potential for romance.  It paints the medieval world with a distinctive atmosphere and culture, without teaching or lengthy descriptions.  This book is perfect for a younger reader, easy to slip into and with plenty of room for readers to exercise their own imaginations, with enough supportive details to make the fantasy strong.

The only issue I had with this book is that, having finished it, I still feel estranged from the main character.  Perhaps it is because this is a prequel written after Juniper’s debut appearance and her personality is really established in that.  Let me be clear: I really like Juniper.  I want to feel close to her.  But, for some reason, she never fully clicked in my head.  I would read along, sympathizing with her struggles, feeling I was in her head, and then something would happen.  I had an emotional reaction, just as Juniper clearly had one.  Then, a couple of sentences later, the main emotion Juniper felt would be named.  I was almost always surprised.  Juniper became angry when I thought she was more upset or was ready to burst into tears when I thought she’d be fired up and angry.  This confuses me.  I’ve had characters I just didn’t connect to before, but even of those, never have I read someone who I simply couldn’t grasp.  Or rather, who constantly wriggled out of my grasp when I thought I knew who they were.  Coming from a work whose main message is the value of truly understanding things, this leaves me bemused.  On the other hand, this phenomenon turned the predictability of the middle-grade plot into something nice and reassuring instead of merely nostalgic.

Puppets, Project Runway, and Pictures

This is the part where summer has gone crazy!  During my vacation travels I met a variety of characters, from Queen Elizabeth I: to the Mad Hatter.  I also got to meet many of Jim Hensen’s creations!  Most of them could not be photographed, such as Ernie, Big Bird, Red and Mokey Fraggle, Rowlph the dog, Dr. Teeth ( I saw my reflection in his gold tooth!), Sir Didymous from “Labyrinth”, and the Swedish Chef.  Some, however, were free of that rule!    They all live together, for the moment, at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta (http://www.puppet.org/).

When I returned home things seemed normal again, but now I find myself entertaining thoughts like:

1. It’s almost 2 in the morning.  Time to do laundry!

2. There is a raccoon charging down the sidewalk, straight at me.  What do I do in this situation!?

3. Mondo, the winner of Project Runway All Stars, is clearly the Rumpelstiltskin of the fashion world.  Only, in his version of the story, he was forced to feel that if he kept spinning straw materials into golden garments, he would have to revert to being emotionally, a baby.  Then, when they called his name at the end, as the winner of Project Runway All Stars, the prize rejuvenated him back into being an emotionally-adjusted man.  I find this an interesting take on the tale, actually.  A lot of things make more sense when the imp’s spinning has more to do with his own issues instead of the pitiful gold trinkets, or the distress of a random stranger.  The thought of the baby being an aspect of Rumpelstiltskin that needs to be found or done away with makes me like that story better.  Huh.

Recent Revelations concerning Death, Life, and Location

Things I’ve learned the past week:


1. There are many reasons why a skeleton would wear sunglasses.

-To aid scientists develop a way to determine a skeleton’s age due entirely to bone bleaching when compared to the dark circles around the eyes where the sunglasses kept sunlight from whitening the bone.  Hence, how long the skeleton’s ‘slept’ will be apparent from the dark circles around their eyes.  Yet one more way that death is opposite from life.

-Being far more naked than the rest of us, skeletons may be prone to utilizing any and all accessories they can grab.

-Even the dead have a right to fashion sense.

(Discovered due to a parasail ride with turtlephoenix.wordpress.com and a parachute showing a jolly roger in what appeared to be sunglasses.)


2. Holding a newborn with hiccups is like holding a reverse squeaky toy.  They sound the same and are comparable in size, but while you contract the toy to make it squeak, the hiccuping newborn expands with each noise.


3. There is an island in Michigan (Mackinac Island) which only has one mall strip without a fudge shop in the whole place. (Yum!)

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