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Sunday, September 9, 2007

Let's go HIKE!

Alps 2006!

The river flowing through Interlaken, Switzerland looks like it's flowing with Crest toothpaste!

Three days after we hiked here below the JungFrau, a huge huge (able to cover small countries) part of the mountain slid off in an avalanche. Grindelwald (where we had stayed in a hostel two nights before) was filled with dust for a day! It was in all the international news. Yikes!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Madeline L'Engle

Madeline L'Engle died today at 88. I'm pausing to pay tribute to her and thank her for being a significant person in my life. When I was ten years old I was confined for about four months with hepatitis. My Aunt Dorothy sent me her new Newbery Award book for the year, A Wrinkle in Time. I remember how wonderful it was to escape the tedium of my sick bed by reading that book. I LOVED it. Her book, Two-Part Invention, about her marriage also impacted me. Read ALL her books!! I met Mrs. L'Engle at a tea sponsored by Victoria magazine at the Park Hotel in New York City about 11 years ago. My friend Bonnie and I attended the tea which was quite a posh affair--women in hats and gloves, little cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches, and mints shaped like little teapots. When the time arrived to buy books and have Madeline autograph them, Bonnie and I only had credit cards which they wouldn't take, BUT they DID let us write out IOU's!!! We couldn't believe it!!!! I've never been ANYWHERE that would let me write out an IOU let alone smack dab in the middle of New York City!!!! Thank you Mrs. L'Engle for being such a gracious woman, smashing author, and most of all for being so willing to trust us! Carry on. I was always so jealous that you were the next door neighbor of one of my other favorites--M. Scott Peck. How you must have enjoyed each other.

Saturday, September 1, 2007


I really could sit around all day and blog. It keeps me sharp. I never know what will come out onto the page, nor do I know whom I will offend or inspire or push over the edge. Today I feel pressed to write about flies. Some of you may or may not know that I work during the day as a 7th grade English teacher, but I also moonlight as a fly hit man. Who would ever guess that 54 years into this party I would FINALLY discover that I do indeed have latent talents in this department! For instance, yesterday I was on duty. My beat held its regulars--the out-of-control-in-your-face guy who is almost as big as a hummingbird. He zooms around the house at full throttle looking for a new place to land (and probably defecate which is what flies do every time they land. Right??). I grabbed a nearby swatter---I have strategically placed a fly swatter approximately every 3 feet withing my grasp. Now the chase was on. My method is not as scientific as Jerry's. He slaps where he predicts the fly will land and has about a 99% positive return rate. I prefer to swing the swatter and bang it down randomly. I somewhat resemble the one time I played golf. I chased this fat boy around the kitchen, circled with him as he teased me at our compost tub, clipped a wing at a window, and then he headed upstairs. Sensing that I had him at least cornered, I tore up the stairs two at a time swinging the swatter in a menacing manner and yelling in my best Nazi gestapo voice, "You villain! I vill get you!!!" When I got into the bedroom, I paused to listen for his motor. Silence. I swatted the floor a few times to let him know I meant business and he'd better come out and play fair. No fly. But I had time and could wait. And wait. And wait. Three chapters later still no fly. Now my experience with flies (and believe me it is vast) has taught me that seldom do flies die of heart attacks or emphysema. Nor do they calmly open doors or sneak back outside through the screen cracks through which they entered. Besides, he was probably off breeding and would hopefully tire of even that and reappear. Later last night I took a portrait of Taggart off the wall in the library to move it up and AND THERE HE WAS!!!!! SLEEPING!!!!!!! Well, I went balistic!!!! My evil twin wanted to start chucking books at him! Corner him in a mayonnaise jar and remove hairy body parts with tweezers while he screamed for mercy!!!!!!! With all the skills I could muster I grabbed a swatter, went into my wind up, and smashed that sucker!!!!!!!! He smeared all over the wall, my swatter, and I think he even hurled a kidney in the direction of my how-to books! I'll teach him how-to...$#@!)!_#)$$(%(($))_#@()#@++!)@)#((($ I may be over the edge here. Today I comtemplated taking the blinds down to see if flies were breeding in the inner workings--you know that bar at the top? I think I'm hallucinating too. Now I see tiny little flying objects. I think they're F.I.T.'s (flies in training) and they seem to outnumber their elders by about 20 to 1. More on this later. Duty calls. bzzzzzzzzzz.....*$((*(&*(??@$#!!!

Favorite books

  • Me 'n Steve
  • Thundering Sneakers
  • James Herriott's vet books
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Travels with Charley
  • A Walk in the Woods
  • Peace Like a River
  • The Egg and I
  • Mary Poppins
  • Extremly Loud Incredibly Close
  • How Green Was my Valley