Monday, August 22, 2011

i wish they would

My new readers don't know that FROM 3906 began because of a gate in Paris. 

They've not read how Jamie Cullum at the Lakewood Theater was about oh-so-much-more than the show.  They've not watched in awe as the blood-red amaryllis opened magnificently through four posts last November.  And they haven't known of the days that hurt so bad I thought I might also die. 

I want them to know.  It's what I do.  

We bloggers read from the beginning in the blogs we like.  And like a good book, we take our time, willing to get almost dizzy scrolling from bottom to top because we suspect there is much insight and joy in the months or years of posting that we've missed.

I'm reading a blog right now by a young lady in or near Tulsa.  She caught my attention with her ability to unabashedly, and beautifully I might add, express herself.  Hers was one I knew I had to read from the start, 2007, to know better for example, the how and why she came to be in a D.C. farmers market at the very crack of dawn, chasing down what she heard was a wonderful goat cheese. 

Bloggers get a bad rap, I think, many deservedly I'll admit.  But for those of us serious about words, desperate to use them to briefly entertain or provoke thought, and in the process so often bare our souls, we can be a beautiful thing. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

what good are words?

"What good are words I say to you?
 They can't convey to you what's in my heart.
 If you could hear instead, the things I left unsaid."

I like those days when I head out in my little gray car and the big ole sky is blue but I'm not. 

Everything feels right.  Traffic flows at a zippy pace and each light seems timed to keep me moving.  I weave.  I skip fourth gear and slide right into overdrive.  No hesitation.  

No hesitation.  Just write.

Why isn't it working?  I've lots to say yet I sit here and cry. 

I don't know why.

I was crying before I caught up with the stack of newspapers and read about Ivy dying; the hen Mariana Greene writes about in her Dallas Morning News column.  I was crying for my friend whose heart is heavy.  And I'm crying for my friend about to lose her mother any minute now. 

I can't convey what's in my heart!

"What should I do, Mom?" I asked, my eyes turned up to heaven.

She's always been my guide; pragmatic and very strong-willed with beliefs I feel her pass on to me with each passing day.  From "Think positive!" to "If something isn't good for your body, just don't eat it," she'd say.  Simple as that. 

"If you can't write," I heard her whisper, "get up and walk away." 

Walk!  Yes, I need to walk.  Simple as that.  

I got on the treadmill and walked a mile and a quarter, searching for words, words which would be good to say.  If they don't come, I hope my friends can hear instead, the things I've left unsaid. 

Time After Time  1947
Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne

Saturday, August 20, 2011

this just in

Listen to the quartet on their website.  Click on Demo Clips. 
Playing full quartet at D'Vine Wine on 9.2.11
Playing duo (sax and piano) at Two Corks and a Bottle on 9.3.11
Hot damn!  See you there! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

the slugger

Texas Rangers vs Cleveland Indians
Televised  8.6.11

Thursday, August 11, 2011

what were we thinking?

Perhaps it was delirium that caused us to do this, to take on this major project; spring cleaning in the middle of summer, a summer which feels nothing like spring and may prove to be record-breaking before it's over. 

Spoke and I are house cleaning; one room at a time, top to bottom, wall to wall, corner to corner.  Every inch of every room and all things in them, gets wiped, dusted, washed, laundered, mopped, vacuumed, buffed, or polished.

Spoke spits, I shine. 

The madness began in what I used to call Momzie's room.  Now it will be known as the guest room though we have no potential guests.  It's a small room but large enough for the daybed, the large bookcase, and a wine rack which houses many favorite Sangiovese plus a few bolder reds. 

Mom often house-sat our Labradors when we traveled, declaring the week a little vacation for her as well.  It might have been true, prior to the stay when she rolled right off that narrow bed in her sleep, suffering painful contusions which lasted for weeks.

(I'm scaring you from any sleepovers, aren't I?)

More accurately, it's a reading room.  You can often find one of us sitting with a book or magazine in the comfy chair under the fan.  One of us often doses off in the comfy chair under the fan... 

No rest today; with one room down, we've gained momentum and moved on to the kitchen.  This space is long, a galley kitchen filled with too much "stuff" Spoke says, and for this week, and this week only, I'm agreeing with him. 

A minimalist's lifestyle can appeal to you when stuck in the midst of such a project, back and knees not what they used to be.  But I know as soon as every vinegar bottle is dusted and copper pots once again almost glow in the dark, this home cook will be happy as a clam in a bowl of linguine, surrounded by the things she loves. 

I'll keep you posted on our progress.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


"Hey Spoke,"

"What Baby?"

"I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."

Saturday, August 6, 2011

let it snow

You may call me crazy but I'm rather enjoying this extraordinary summer.  I suspect it might even snow soon. 

You see, there's a certain camaraderie that occurs with the anticipation of a snowfall.  We are more patient at gas pumps and we chat with strangers about the weather, standing in backed-up grocery store lines.  We bake yummy things for neighbors.  Children are happy and excited. 

Here we are in August, much the same way.  We get the immediate oohs and ahhs we hear from people when they enter an air conditioned space.  There's no laughing at those carrying umbrellas on days without a drop of rain.  We offer bottled water to the Fed Ex guy or gal and we once again find ourselves lamenting about the weather at grocery stores. 

With temps this week in Dallas predicted to stay around 105 to 106, it may be we've a serious case of misery loving company.  Otherwise, we're in for a helluva storm. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

loud and clear

                                                                                         click to enlarge 

You can tell a wren from the rest of the backyard birds.  Their songs are not just the loudest but there's a distinct clarity to the sound.  You know it's a wren on the first few notes.

Much like the piercing clarity of the great voices; Tebaldi, Corelli, Price, Freni, Pavarotti...

Off and on for the past few years, a male wren returns to a planter we have hanging on a facing wall visible from our glass door.  I like to think it's the same spry guy, working so hard to weave a future home for his future bride under and around the asparagus fern. 

Painstakingly, he brings twigs, ducking under the fern to arrange them unseen, emerging a minute later before flying off for more.  He takes breaks, perching on the highest wire around, belting out an aria, hoping to entice a female to come and inspect his work.

Sometimes he's successful and sometimes he's not.  One year he built this beautiful nest with a side entrance; a rustic villa for his lady to lay future tenors and sopranos.

Sadly, they abandoned it a before the eggs hatched.

If he shows up, our wren will arrive during the last two weeks of July.  Spoke spotted him the other morning, having landed like he does, on a patio chair.  Every so often he would tilt his head sideways, one eye focused on the planter, seemingly confused because this year there's ivy in place of a fern.  Off he flew and hasn't returned.

I wish he'd come back.  The others too, who in this intense heat come out of those shady, hidden places they call home, only to eat, drink and bathe.  We've the whole month of August to go and already I'm longing for days and nights with wide open windows and singing birds.

I made my peace with nature last night, resigning myself to this long, hot summer.  Still, I left the bed to open the window and stand, willing to settle for a few minutes of rhythmic cicadas.