A Sacrificial Offering

Studly Doright was out of town last night, and I didn’t sleep more than an hour or so. This morning I enjoyed a shower then puttered around the house before going out on the back porch to read. Soon, I found myself dozing off, so I retired to the sofa where I planned to close my eyes for just a couple of minutes.

Two hours later (!) I was awakened by my watch buzzing indicating a call. I was completely disoriented at first, even flummoxed, having no idea of the time of day or even my surroundings. I managed to carry on a fairly rational conversation, I think, with the caller, though, and after saying goodbye I took stock of my situation.

There I was with my Kindle on my chest, my hair dried and sticking out all over, and a spindle of drool clinging to the corner of my mouth. Thank goodness it hadn’t been a FaceTime call!

I think the cats thought I’d died. One left a sacrificial mouse in my shoe:

Maybe their feline deity accepted the sacrifice and brought me back for another day. I’ll try to be worthy.

Peace, people.

Intellectual Arithmetic

At least once a month I spend my Saturday in search of estate sales. Very seldom do I buy anything, but this week I found a couple of new-to-me treasures.

First is this lovely wildlife print by Nancy Z. Guinn (or Gwinn).

The photograph doesn’t do it justice. I keep expecting one of the birds to fly out to light on my finger.

This, though, was my favorite find:

I know, this copy of Ray’s Intellectual Arithmetic is in awful condition, but I’m sure I won’t look all that great when I’m 142 years old either.

After perusing the pages of this pocket sized publication, I realized that by “Intellectual Arithmetic” the author was referring to what we call mental math.

Perhaps this find doesn’t excite you, but I’m a retired teacher who often was assigned to teach math (or maths, for my British friends) and science to elementary students.

I can well imagine the reactions from modern day children were they to be handed a plain Jane copy of Ray’s Intellectual Arithmetic when they’ve become accustomed to this:

Studly Doright was impressed with my little book, but for a different reason. He thinks it might be worth more than the few dollars I paid for it. Given the book’s condition I doubt it’d be valuable. Except, that is, to me.

Peace, people!

Beauty is in the Eye(brow) of the Beholder

Found this on Facebook. It seemed appropriate for me to post considering the title of my blog.

I almost hit the publish button after attaching the meme above, but before doing so I thought, “Are there other memes about eyebrows anywhere on the internet?”

Well, yes. Yes, there are.

Just for the record, my right eyebrow is the best behaved of the two. It’s fuller and shapelier and gets asked out on way more dates.

Do you think men have a favorite eyebrow? Unless they’re drag queens, no. And even then, no, because they’re fabulous at creating glorious eyebrows.

Contrary to public opinion, I’m really not obsessed with eyebrows. I have far more important beauty issues to consider, such as my definite lack of meaningful cheekbones. But “Praying for Cheekbones” didn’t come to me in a mystical experience like “Praying for Eyebrowz did.”

And I don’t paint in my eyebrows. I do give them a little pep talk every morning, urging them to work together for the greater good and to watch their respective postures. Right eyebrow is much more receptive to my entreaties.

I could’ve posted a hundred eyebrow memes and still not have emptied the meme mine. But I think my point has been made.

(By the way, that’s not me pictured above. Thanks to Pinterest for the creative eyebrow picture.)

Peace, people!

Not His Type

Yesterday my cat, Scout, and I watched a hawk fly all around our backyard here at Doright Manor, lighting briefly on a lamppost before flying dramatically to the ground. He poked around in the grass for a minute or two before doing this:

I told Scout it looked like he was initiating a mating ritual. Every now and again he’d stop his dance and look directly at me, as if to say, “Hey, good looking….”

Scout yawned and said, “I’m almost certain that hawks perform an elaborate aerial mating ritual in place of a dance. And, honestly, you’re not his type.”

Cheeky cat.

Peace, people!

Two Tidbits About John Keats that I Learned from Reading Science Fiction

John Keats, the 19th century English Romantic poet, loved a woman named Fanny. That’s tidbit one. Fast forward to the last sentence if you want to skip the middle stuff and go directly to tidbit two.

Oddly enough, Keats, or at least his “cybrid” analog in the Hegemony, is a major character in the far future science fiction adventure, Hyperion and its sequel, The Fall of Hyperion, written by Dan Simmons.*

Googling Keats brought up a link to his works from which Simmons borrowed the titles for his books.

Hyperion is an abandoned epic poem by 19th-century English Romantic poet John Keats. It is based on the Titanomachia, and tells of the despair of the Titans after their fall to the Olympians. Keats wrote the poem from late 1818 until the spring of 1819, when he gave it up as having “too many Miltonic inversions.” He was also nursing his younger brother Tom, who died on 1 December 1818 of tuberculosis. 

The themes and ideas were picked up again in Keats’s The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream, when he attempted to recast the epic by framing it with a personal quest to find truth and understanding.

Dan Simmons’s novels pull off the amazing feat of combining old world sense and sensibilities with the ethics and challenges of a far reaching human presence in an infinite future universe.

I’m going to be honest and tell you, dear reader, that there were some small passages of Simmons’s books that I just did not comprehend. I often had to go back and reread and even read aloud certain passages, and still the technology was over my head. But the stories were so compelling that I was able to allow myself to be carried through those sections. Avid readers of science fiction will understand what I mean.

One thing’s for certain. I will be pondering Hyperion Cantos for a long time. Oh, tidbit two–I learned that John Keats was only five feet tall.

Peace, people!

*Hyperion Cantos is a four novel series. I just started book 3, Endymion.

Now This Storm

All the night things were fooled by the glowering skies. In the hushed anticipation,

Frogs began their nightly chorus as crickets laid down a steady beat, echoing into

this false dusk, punctuated suddenly by stabs of frantic lightning, bombarded by the

rolling of a timpani, mallets on skin, presaging the arrival of a downpour, the

outpouring, the deluge. We hunker down, my cats and I, after a sharp crackle and

concussive reverberation. Too close for comfort. The lake creatures have gone mute,

given up on their futile choruses, now that the storm has come.

We had a lightning strike a couple of minutes ago that might have topped anything I’ve ever experienced. It was close, the thunder immediate, and my heart is racing. Wish I’d still had the camera going, but the audio would have needed censoring.

See that bare spot on my lawn? That’s still fallout from last year’s Hurricane Michael. And we’ve got a potential hurricane heading this way as I write this. I’m not ready for another storm season.

Peace, people.

Raising a Glass

Last night I poured myself a Guinness and toasted the memory of my dear friend, Julie.

Smart, funny, caring Julie. She embodied love and laughter, and she lived a beautiful, yet all too brief, life, leaving this world on Saturday morning at the age of 63.

Not long after Studly Doright and I moved to Tallahassee, I went to work part time for an educational research group at Florida State University. My job was to implement lessons designed by educational researchers and at the end of the year, administer diagnostic tests to children at several local elementary schools.

At one of these schools I was working in a room with this woman who just had a way about her. She wore flowy dresses and always had a smile. The children in her groups adored her, and she never had to raise her voice. They just wanted to make Miss Julie happy. Heck, after awhile we ALL just wanted to make Miss Julie happy.

Julie and I became friends. Occasionally she’d come out to Doright Manor, and we’d walk and talk. Her stories were fascinating. She and her very British mum had once lived in Alaska and owned a tea room there. She knew all sorts of interesting people and cultivated great friendships with folks from all walks of life.

After I stopped working for the research group, Julie and I saw each other less often, but we kept in touch via Facebook and text. She invited me along to movies and concerts and we had lunch together several times. I always knew she was “right there” if I needed a friend, and I hope she knew that about me, too.

Julie was the kind of person who’d drop everything and take off cross country to care for an ailing friend. The kind of person who’d show up to listen to a friend (me) tell one of my silly stories in a public venue, and laugh louder than anyone. And oh, what a lovely laugh!

Julie was the kind of person whose door was always open and whose heart was filled with love for people and the planet. I’d never really known a true earth mother until I met Julie, and I’m so much richer for having had her in my life.

Our very last conversation was on Facebook on Friday evening, the night before she died. We’d both gone to see “Yesterday,” at different theaters and discussed it briefly. I wish I’d kept the conversation going into the night and through the next day. Maybe we could’ve made it past the episode that claimed her life.

And the last thing of mine she shared on Facebook? I cried fresh tears when I read it.

Let me assure you, even though she didn’t make it to 65, Julie didn’t take anything for granted. She lived with her entire heart and soul. And I know that all who knew her were enriched by the relationship.

So Julie, this is for you. May your spirit rest in beauty and peace.

Love,

Leslie

Where The Toys Are

My cats, Patches and Scout, have two baskets full of toys. Studly Doright and I get a kick out of watching them sift through the baskets’ contents until they find the toy that most exactly fits their needs at the moment.

Sometimes it’s a weird blue thing with feathers on either end.

Often it’s the plastic ring off of a plastic milk carton.

Most often, though, it’s a stuffed mouse.

We have at least a dozen varieties of mice.

The current favorite toys, though, are catnip filled pillows.

Notice that the edges have been gnawed and drooled on.

All of the toys pictured above, as well as several more, had been in hiding for awhile. I had wondered about the pillow, but the cats have so many toys I hadn’t really worried about a few that had gone missing.

Then this morning I was doing some stretches on the den floor and this is what I saw beneath the sofa:

Now I can’t get this song out of my head:

https://youtu.be/Rk4ZKVKP7Vc

Peace, people!

Interesting People

A couple of nights ago Studly Doright and I enjoyed dinner in a slightly upscale (for Tallahassee) restaurant. We’d ordered our meal, and Studly excused himself to go to the men’s room. In his absence I looked around the room and listened to the buzz of conversation going on around us.

I didn’t intend to eavesdrop, I promise; nevertheless, my ears couldn’t help but pick up the tale being told at the table just on the other side of an artfully arranged barrier between our table and one a few feet away.

At that unseen, but nearby table, one man was holding court, detailing an encounter he’d had with someone of note. I never quite heard who he’d met, but the oohs and ahhs from his fellow diners indicated he/she was pretty impressive.

The longer I eavesdropped, I mean, listened, though, the more I realized that regardless of who this man had met he’d have made them seem amazing. Maybe it was his daughter’s pre-K teacher. Perhaps he was talking about the cashier at his local grocery store. It appeared to my ears that it was the storyteller who was the fascinating person.

I don’t mean that in a negative way. He wasn’t a boor. He just had a way of holding everyone’s attention and making a story about something mundane come alive. My husband has that ability. When he gets into storytelling mode, people listen.

I only wish I could pull that off. When I launch into a tale chances are 99% of those at the table tune out by the fourth sentence. And that poor sucker who represents the 1% is either too kind or maybe too inebriated to lose interest.

When Studly returned to the table I shifted my attention to him.

“So,” I asked. “How was your day?”

As he began to regale me with his tales of a fascinatingly ordinary day, I pictured someone at another table listening to him with a smile. Knowing an interesting person is infinitely better than being one.

Peace, people.

The Great Revolutionary War Air Battle

Just when we think that trump can’t get any dumber he says or does something so imbecilic that the bar gets lowered another notch or two. On the Fourth of July he managed to take his stupidity to a whole ‘nother level. I’d say it’s the basement, but he’d just prove me wrong again.

For those who didn’t hear his speech at his big 4Th of July, multimillion dollar extravaganza , let me share a portion of it it with you here:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/07/04/independence-day-donald-trump-trips-up-revolutionary-war-history/1638531001/

The meme below says it all:

Yes, that’s right folks, we shut down those airports, thus winning the Revolutionary War.

As you might expect, the internet had a field day with Trump’s stupidity. Here are some of my favorites.

Leave it to General Washington, call signal Cherry Tree, to lead our forces from the air.

I wonder if the flight attendants had to ask passengers to place their electronics in airplane mode.

Or Newark, in a pinch.

Twitter had some of the best posts:

Of course Trump has blamed his gaffes on a TelePrompTer glitch. But didn’t he famously criticize his predecessor for using the TelePrompTer?

Seems like he also ridiculed Hillary Clinton for the same reason:

The truth is that Trump tends to go off script when he feels like his followers’ short attention spans are wandering. He’ll say whatever outrageous statements pop into his head just to rile them up. This week, it’s Revolutionary War airports. Next week, who knows? Martians invading through porta potties to help the North defeat the Confederacy? Hey, it could happen if the TelePrompTer goes out again.

Peace, people!