Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Signs from the River/Road Trip 2010

Riggins, Idaho
August 2010

Spotted in a front yard

Postcards from The Shushing Librarian: Road Trip 2010

Dear A.N.

Greetings from Big Lake, MO! I've having the time of my life with C & B. Upon our arrival at Big Lake, C's family surprised her and B with an anniversary party which led to an impromptu vow renewal. Later, we went boating and enjoyed the sunset. Our trip was cut short by the Asian flying carp that were trying to jump in the boat! I can't forget to mention the tractor pull the night before -- it definitely was an experience! And a dirty one. C's family LOVES me and is taking me everywhere. Lots of pictures to come!

[heart] S.L.

Monday, August 30, 2010

River/Road Trip 2010: Greetings from the Road

The Roaming Gnome (spotted on a porch in McCall, Idaho)

and the Udderly Adorable Mabel (my travelling companion in the backseat), send their greetings to The Shushing Librarian!
She should be back in the area soon and we all can't wait for her travel log from her road trip.


As for reports from MY road trip, due to work commitments, they are forthcoming. Thanks to Casey at mooshinindy.com, soon I will be able to post from the comfort of my own studio. But more on THAT later! (I heart Casey.) So many posts to blog, so little time...

Update from Christine, with whom the S.L. was travelling:

"S.L. is safe and sound! She could have used the jacket you found her on some of the cool mornings but she managed just fine. LOTS of stories to tell especially about our new friends, the buffalo, and how we found ourselves in a life threatening situation."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

River/Road Trip 2010: Swamped

Just back from the River/Road Trip, and boy, am I am swamped!

I'm still bailing out my ears, and my in-box.

Thanks to Christina for "riding the bull" and getting this footage. She did manage to stay in the raft.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Little Lost Dove

Happy Birthday little Piety

Letters from Ollie J - August 21, 1983

In 1983 I was about to start middle school, so Grandma's advice was timely. Now that I think about it, I really must have "harkened" well. I met my friend Jenn in Sixth Grade and we've been friends ever since. I don't think my Grandmother could have picked anyone more appropriate for me if she had tried. If anything, this Mormon girl is the wilder and more adventuresome of the two of us!

Those spots Grandma referenced are most likely a form of skin cancer. Not only is there a history of age spots in the family, but it's most likely directly related to being raised on a working farm and then working the land for most of their adult lives. Mom has spots on her arms from all the working the fields she did too, not to mention the tanning. ... WEAR SUN SCREEN KIDS!

21 August 1983

[Temple Mission
Kensington, MD]

Dear [Granddaughter],

It was so nice to get your letter. Please forgive me for taking so long to answer.

I went home again with Uncle Hyrum. Found all well. Home looked good. The yard was nice. I should have raked up trash off yard around big Oak tree. But we picked green peas and Butter beans. Also picked dry peas and shelled them in the pea sheller Uncle Hyrum built. We went into town and I looked but didn’t buy much. Cousin Carol looked [for] dresses for Emily and Paula but didn’t find anything she liked.

Uncle Hyrum went to see Dr. Howard and had two spots burned off his face. Like I have had one on my hand. They are doing fine. We’ll let the Doctor see what he thinks this next week end. Yes I’ll ride down with him as he needs some one to keep him awake.

We have been busy at the temple which I like. But we could help lots more people if they could come up.

I am happy in the work. Not exactly sure when we’ll go home to stay. We have a meeting at the Temple this morning. Pres. Ezra T. Benson will be here to speak to us. So will go over and get dressed in my white dress and go up to top floor of Temple to hear what he has to tell us. What a privilidge[sic] to go to the Priesthood room. Every one that goes to temple don’t get to go there. (7th floor)

Sorry you got sick at my house. How you are all well now. It’s no fun to be sick.

I came in from temple Saturday and felt exhausted. So fell across couch and slept a couple hours. Didn’t even want to eat. Slept all night and felt better yesterday.

It is a little cooler here today and it feals[sic] good. We had few hot days too.

Supose[sic] you are nervous and excited about going back to school. A new one at that. But you will soon get the hang of it and love it too. Study and listen to your teacher. Learn all you can about lots of things. Your mom used to say, “Mama its hard.” I’d say “If you already knew this years work would be no fun because you wouldn’t learn any thing new.” Be careful crossing the streets and choose friend Carefully. May God bless you in this. Growing up is hard. I know and we need His (God) help always.

Take care

Grandma Loves you very dearly,

Love to hear about your first day at school. Yes this year 1983 school year.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Letters from Ollie J - August 14, 1995

Photos from May 2010:

View of old run-down farm house across the road from The Farm;
Big blue tractor working the fields across the road from The Farm;
North Carolina thunderstorm clearing out.

14 Aug 1995

[The Farm
Pikeville, NC]

Dear [Granddaughter],

It’s hot here this Morning. Did have a Few Cool days. Oh – Changes all the time.

I am doing fine. Stay busy at something. Read, sleep, cut grass quilt – do some recording Genealogy.

Grass is drying it is dry here now.

Had nice visit with your parents. Should study computer guide books.

It looks so compucated[sic] because I don’t understand it.

Will go do 2 of our sisters as visiting teachers.

Gosh has been a year since I was in Utah. Seems longer.

Have got Tobacco most housed.

Oh yes I have a year Riding Tractor. It work good and should use it today.

School starts here 22 Aug.

It will take bus to WA Temple 22 August. Up and back in one day. Yes it’s for a long day. Tiring too. Oh but it is worth it.

When called Aunt Shirley the other night she ask about you. See she misses you.

Take Care.

Love you

Grandma

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

On the Road Again: River/RoadTrip 2010

c. May 2010
North Carolina Interstate at twilight

Auntie Nettie is on the road again, this time headed for destinations West. She will return sometime at the end of August.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Letters from Ollie J - August 10, 1993

Later in her life Grandma Ollie was often dealing with respiratory issues. Her "weak chest" and lungs always seemed to make her susceptible to a variety of ailments; a history of pneumonia, bronchitus and infections certainly didn't help her, especially towards the end. Is it possible to inherit a wracking cough? In the winter, when I'm cold and sick, I certainly remember my Grandma Ollie. Genetics are "fun."

Another few notes here: Cousin Carol's daughter Leatha (or Litha as Grandma spelled it) is named for Ollie's husband, my Grandpa Jack. Leatha was his middle name. I was about 6 when he passed. Wow. He'd be 99 this year.

I was finishing up my undergraduate degree in 1993, but at the time of this letter wasn't sure if I was finishing in the fall or spring semester. I actually worked and lived on campus during the summers, so was watching all of the NYC and county fireworks from the end of the campus quads. As for finishing up school, I could have officially "graduated" in Dec. 1993, as I had enough credits. I ultimately took a few spring 1994 semester classes on the weekends and in the evenings, while living off campus, commuting to a part-time job in NYC, and working on campus.

10 August 1993

[The Farm
Pikeville, NC]

Dear [Granddaughter],

My trip home from CT was nice. [Cousin] Carol met me with her two boys. Driving my Car. My cough kept agervating[sic] me. So went to Doctor and he gave me some Medicine (Prescribed) Took that and went to see a lung specialist. She sent me to out Patient to have a breathing test. Got spray medicine and will see her (Dr-) 18 August She will report on (Ex rays) and breathing test. Hope I am going to better than have been for quite a while and Good for long time for a change. I do feal[sic] fairly good for a change.

No cough. What a realief[sic].

We had 2 inches of rain last of last week. My sure made grass grow. Maybe Will get it cut Friday.

Emily (Carol’s daughter) went to visit her Great Aunt and will be Coming home tomarow[sic]. Been gone most a month and was home sick. Near all that flood waters.

I have sewed some. Repared[sic] couple of my Blouses. Made Litha[sic] and Dotty [two more of Carol's daughters] a dress her grand ma had started.

Oh finished the quilt I had in when you were here. Lady was pleased.

You got your classes all lined up. So what are your next decision? Graduate about Christmas or next spring?

Think I’ll wash my Car tomorrow. It surely does need it. Rain Saturday helped some.

Did you go alone to watch fire works?

I saw a little of fire work from here to Raise[sic] track. Fair for Beginers[sic].

All here are doing fine soon be going back to school.

[Carol's sister/Mom's cousin] Jean plans to go up to Temp 20-21 Aug and I want and probelly[sic] go too. She wants a load.

There we or Stake has 10 Sept for a Bus trip and I sent in my money so expect to have a seat. Understand We will have 2 Buses going. Exciting.

Take Care Bet you had fun with your mom.

Love You

Grandma

Hope to see the Meteor Showers Wednesday[sic] Night 9-10 PM

Monday, August 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad!

"The spirit is there in every boy; it has to be discovered and brought to light." ~Robert Baden-Powell

Happy Birthday to my Dad,
The greatest guy I know.
Boy, you were cute then.
But now?
Man, your spirit shines through -
glowing with a light that has brightened my way
as I've gone crashing about
the light and dark of my life.
I love you.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Summer Fridays/Weekends 2010 - Part Five

Despite the ravages to my system that have been ongoing since early June, I have still been determined to go out and enjoy my summer Fridays and weekends. Whether that meant enjoying the view out the train window as I travelled through Westchester to the doctors office yet again, being awestruck at the forcefulness of Mother Nature's wrath on the forest near Caramoor, or enjoying a rare, humidity-free, evening concert by Christopher O'Riley in the Spanish Courtyard, I've been busy.

Luckily my friend Christine and I did manage to find a date when her busy Festival schedule was clear so we could head to The Metropolitan Museum to see the exhibition called American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity.

I think Christine and I have known each other too long. We hadn't discussed wardrobe, but I found myself grinning when I came around the corner at Grand Central to see her in a white dress. Why? Because I was wearing a black dress. We hadn't even planned it. We're of the school of thought that you still make an effort to dress appropriately when visiting cultural institutions, whether it be a concert or a museum. Plus, we were going to see some fancy dresses, so why not respect the art we were going to see?

On our way to that special exhibition, we got sidetracked into the
Picasso retrospective. Much of the art on display was unfamiliar to us, although I was familiar with the Harlequins and the portrait of Gertrude Stein. We also saw the Picasso that had recently been repaired after an altercation with a patron, now displayed under glass. The linoleum lithographs were wonderful, although you did have to wonder about Picasso's perceptions of women in his later years.

Here's my one decent photo of Christine in front of a lithograph. While you could take photos in the Picasso exhibit, I wanted to experience the art, not document the art to experience later.

After marvelling over the craftsmen(woman's?)ship of the dresses from the Costume Institute (no photos allowed there -- but check out the YouTube clip in the link above), we found our way upstairs to the Big Bambu installation. It was disgustingly hot and humid heading up the stairs to the roof, and the bright sun was unrelenting. However, under the shade of the bamboo it was quite refreshing, especially with our over-priced, but much needed beverages and salty snacks. We snagged a bench and admired the views of Central Park.

Apparently you can have a guided tour on the top of the installation (via these stairs -- Stairway to Heaven anyone?), but there are limited tickets and you have to be at the Met at a certain time to line up to get them. Maybe later and not in a dress and sandals ....


After we came down from our bamboo high, we wandered around various exhibitions, looked at European masterpieces, mocked the fashion choices of our fellow museum goers*, took in Italian sketches, gossiped, were almost stampeded by a herd of Italian testosterone-filled teenagers, had pity for hard-working security guards who had to constantly police the "no-photos" policies, marvelled at the wealth of people who could afford porches and courtyards like these,

roamed through the Byzantium, Greek, and Roman eras looking at the craft and artwork of millenia past, with a sidetrack through King Tut's burial goods in Egypt, and finished by wading through a lobby full of tourists to get to the ever-important gift shops.

We were wise to start early and to narrow our exhibit preferences because by early Sunday afternoon, as the heavens opened and the rains came through the City, the Museum more closely resembled an international airport terminal than an institution dedicated to art. We escaped onto East 85th Street before the deluge started and wandered around the East Side for some lunch and some people watching.

[*Ladies, please take Christine's advice. If you are wearing a white dress and rain is in the forecast, buy AND CARRY an umbrella. Like she did. Because she is smart. Or wear black and have a slicker, like me! Don't hope that you can make it to the subway, home, or an awning before it starts to rain. The Upper East Side is no place for a wet dress contest. All of the patrons at our diner felt bad for you, but really -- it's New York in the summer and we've had storms like every day. How did you not know it was going to rain! (And yes, your dress was as see-through as you thought it was.)]

I was envious of the owners of this brownstone. This climbing vine was so beautiful in the rain, though you just can't tell from my photos.

I need to spend more time exploring the streets around the Museum. You can see hints of the Gilded Age of New York. Just check out this apothecary shop. The best part were the roundels in the arched windows that swivelled open for circulation.

The day was also filled with other fleeting "only in New York moments" that I experienced but didn't photograph: from looking up at the corner of 82nd and Museum Mile to see one of the famous red-tail hawks circling around his/her swanky NYC nest, to crossing paths with a celebrity and her family and friends en route to somewhere on a Sunday morning while Christine and I tried to cross the street, to me heading down to my train in Grand Central at the end of the day to see a bridal couple walking up past the Oyster Bar with their wedding photographer. Many "congratulations" rang out through the tunnel for the happy couple while other commuters and tourists looked on nonchalantly. I'm just glad they were taking pictures at that location and time on a Sunday and not in the middle of a week-day evening rush hour. The contrast between the bride's white ball gown and the beige terrazzo and the brick/cobblestones of the Oyster Bar Passageway must have looked even better on film than it did in real life.

It's always fun spending time with Christine and seeing priceless pieces of art. However, I do have to say that it's always the unexpected and the odd little things that crack me up when we are together.

Things like this, which I call

Priceless Impressionist Masterpieces vs. Aging Dude Trying Too Hard

*Dude. Here's a hint. If your shirt says it, then there's no way you actually are a Prepster. Sorry.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Medical Mysteries Summer 2010

Dear E coli,

I.Hate.You.

I really, truly, and utterly hate you. You ruined my RoadTrip. You wrecked my appetite. You caused me great distress. You even made me take drugs, not to mention go to the doctor. A LOT!

But I guess I have to thank you for the weight loss, you nasty bugger.

Now ... go away! Don't come back. Don't send postcards. BE GONE!


Sincerely,
Auntie Nettie

P.S. Yup E %)(@*%#) coli ... that seems to be the official diagnosis for the last two months of "fun." So far the count is three doctors visits, three sets of "samples," three sets of antibiotics, an abdominal ultrasound, lots of time on the train, about $80 in co-pays, $100+ in drugs, a yet-to-be-determined final bill from everything that wasn't covered by insurance, and one call from the New York City Department of Health, with an oh-so-fun phone interview about what I might have eaten, where, when, and what kind of symptoms. But, hey ... at least it wasn't my gallbladder and my kidneys didn't shut down!

Photo by Eric Erbe, digital colorization by Christopher Pooley, both of USDA, ARS, EMU.

This image (found here) is in the public domain because it contains materials that originally came from the Agricultural Research Service, the research agency of the United States Department of Agriculture.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Quote/Advice of the Day

I am a leaf on the wind. ~ Serenity (2005)

Sometimes you just have to go where the wind takes you, and live life hour by hour.

That's Auntie Nettie's advice for the day.