Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Case of the Missing Marple ~

A group of crows is called a Murder, a murder of crows. In my case, I am viewing on Netflix a Murder of Marples. Although Joan Hickson is the quintessential Miss Marple, Agatha Christie’s little old lady sleuth has been portrayed over the years by a slew of fine actresses. The issue over the last number of years is not the actresses but the story line. The Hickson Miss Marple actually followed the Christie story lines rather well, nothing jarred nor was out of place. 

The ones following Joan Hickson’s death have been more problematic. Miss Marple has appeared in stories with Tommy and Tuppence - never happened in Christie’s writing. She has cropped up in stories where the investigators were independent characters, appearing only in one book. And the stories are “based on” the novel by Agatha Christie meaning occasionally one has to enter into that willing suspension of disbelief and be grateful the characters have the same names and the plot is a good one. In other words, they are not written for Christie fans but rather for the modern viewer who needs a little more spice in their TV viewing. 

So ~ I have suspended my disbelief on several levels and have decided to make my way through a large Murder of Marples just for fun. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

It's Just a Door ~

~ but I really like it. Dean repainted the dingy looking front door and voila! The color matches the trim around the windows. Freshens the look and makes me happy. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Another Perspective

The Yosemite Rim fire is burning 1000s of acres and hundreds of square miles of forest, threatening whole communities and causing many folks to evacuate. There is another side to the story however. 

When there was a large fire on the south shore of the lake a couple of years ago, there was a story in the news in which they interviewed a young firefighter. He was standing on the edge of the fire line when a bear wandered out of the smokey woods and stood looking at him, rather stunned. The young man said something like, he looked so stunned and lost. And I didn’t know what to say to him. His home was gone and I had nothing to say. 

All those acres close to Yosemite burned ~ home to bears, deer and thousands of tiny creatures like birds and chipmunks. Did they escape? If so, where did they go? Oh yes, there are other forests close by. But some how I keep remembering the firefighter’s story and his sadness at having nothing to say to the bear whose home was taken away. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

New "Old" Acquisitions

When Dean was an Eagle Scout, he did a lot of ceremonial dancing. He was good enough that often he was the only caucasian at a powwow ~ having been personally invited. As he became involved in college and then work and then a family, he let this part of his life drop away. 

Now he has begun to enjoy it again. Although I have seen him dance, his main interest is in preserving old authentic Native American art pieces. These are his latest finds ~ I have told you before, he is the king of the yard sale. 

Dream Catcher ~ made to bless the house and bring good fortune our way. 

Ceremonial shield ~ he used to do a dance called the shield dance.

Breast plate ~ worn for ceremonial purposes. The rattle is used for percussion during the dance.

Quiver with bow and arrows

Lots of Smoke

The smoke from Yosemite Rim fire hangs heavy over the Tahoe Basin. If this is how it is here, how awful it must be closer to the fire itself. The news says the smoke has blown all the way to southern Oregon. Unless something changes drastically today, we will eat inside tonight. There are people with asthma and much worse allergies than I have, and I am having a rough time. Not enough to buy a mask ~ I can leave those for folks who Really need them. Still I am very uncomfortable outside. 

So ~ here’s to Dean who is doing the grocery shopping this morning and will even go to the deck and bring in mint for our tea for the day. All the windows are closed and I started to cough opening the door to let Oso in. Wind is supposed to pick up and blow it in another direction today. 

Please, join me in prayers for safety and containment for all those fighting and really affected by this and all the fires.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Smiles and Smiles

 Language is absolutely necessary for humans to communicate with each other. And yet once in a while we find ourselves in a situation where language  fails us. In my case, I do not speak Chinese. My daughter-in-law’s father does not speak English. And so we smile a lot over the head of our mutual grandchild. 

He does wish me “Good morning”. I have remembered learning (my attempt at phonetics) piao liang, the Chinese word for beautiful. He has graced my day and I have told him his granddaughter is beautiful. I have also let it be known she looks like him although his daughter partook some in that exchange. I also asked permission to take his picture and asked him to take mine with the baby. We also say good night - but mostly in pantomime. So we do communicate, just not at quite the level and depth we do in our own language. Lettie will grow up bi-lingual in two amazingly different languages. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Foresooth, What Tradition is This?

Conversation with 11-year-old Akira on Skype last night:

MS: What did you like best about going to the Farmers’ Market?
A: Being able to walk around and go to Puck’s Donuts afterwards.
MS: Do you know who Puck is? 
(Evidently Shakespearean references abound in Ashland where there is a huge, year-round, Shakespeare festival)
MS: (assuming too much) Puck is ~
A: Wait. Give me a minute and I will elucidate. (Time spent thinking)
Puck is in Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He is the messenger for the King of the Fairies.
MS: Very good, Akira! 31 years ago I played Titania, the Queen of the Fairies.
A: What was the King’s name?
MS: Oberon. Puck also serves as a sort of narrator and opens and closes the play.
A: He breaks the 4th wall - is that right?
MS: It is indeed, Akira, it is indeed. 

When I was cast as Titania, my daughters said, "of course they cast you as Titania, mom. You are Titania." 

As I looked on Skype at those unruly curls and mischievously twinkling almond-shaped eyes, it occurs to me not so much that he may one day play Puck but that he is Puck. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Harsh Word ~ Hate

"Hate" has always seemed a very harsh word to me. I am grateful that in my life I have had very little to hate in the best (worst?) sense of that word. I did however find myself using it in a rather off-hand manner for a while: "I hate this. I hate that. Don't you hate it when thus and so happens?"

Then one day I decided to even say it in a flippant way put energy into the world that I would rather avoid.. So for a long while I have tried to temper my words to "I don't like" or "I wish thus and so were another way".

However ~ when I have waited over two months to file the bill receipts, I come very close to using that word. I do not like filing even when I do it often enough that it takes very little time. When I have let the bills pile up, I Really Don't Like Filing!! I might even say I hate it.