A newsy letter

Brewsky and a plushy Ollie (click to better see how beautiful Ollie is)
Instead of taking on a topic, I thought I would try posting a newsy letter of the type that I might send a friend. I have no idea why anyone would care to read it unless they just happen to like me, but my assumption is that most of my readers do like me...

Peggy took Brewsky to the vet this morning for a urinary infection/blockage and discovered when she got home that she was wearing two pair of panties, this being what happens when one goes to bed two hours late and gets up four hours early. We normally take our pets to the vet together (we also accompany one another on doctor visits), but Peggy planned to stay for the duration, which could have been hours given that they were having to work Brewsky in, and I wasn’t up for that. As it turned out, she ended up going back for Brewsky anyway because he wasn’t ready until 5:30, and she had to go alone that time too because I was baking crackers (I bake crackers, biscuits, cornbreads, and yeast breads, and Peggy does pies and cookies).

I’ve only seen Brewsky in a truly foul mood three times in his entire 5 1/2 years, and today was one of them. He had spent ten hours in a scary place having unpleasant things done to him by strangers, and he hadn’t eaten in 18-hours. Ollie missed him so much that he ran up to his kennel as soon as Peggy set it on the floor, but was stopped short by loud hissing that went on and on and on. It’s funny to see Brewsky in a bad mood because his bad moods are SO bad that he does nothing but stalk around and curse in cat language for a very long time and in a manner reminiscent of my father, the difference being that my father sometimes threw such fits almost hourly and didn’t use cat language. The vet said that Brewsky barely missed bladder surgery followed by a week’s recovery in the hospital. Now he’s on antibiotics and will have to eat $6.00 a pound cat food for the rest of his life.

I’m still augmenting my Margaret Deland collection, and just today negotiated to buy a second letter by her to go with my half dozen signed books, my fifty or more other books, my six period postcards, and my two period photographs. You might well ask how I know the signatures are authentic. (1) There isn’t enough money in her signature to make it worthwhile to fake it (it costs from $15 to $750, but I’ve never paid over $60, and that was for a complete letter); (2) I know her signature well, and I have an unimpeachable source for comparison; (3) I examine paper and ink closely; (4) I know the characteristics of her letters, such as the fact that she typically failed to put the year on them, a practice that a forger would be unlikely to know; (5) I know the events of her life and the names of the people in her life, which is also something that a forger would be unlikely to know; (6) I get written authentication when possible.

I’m at a bit of loss about my collection because, aside from three books, the only place left to go is to buy more letters and/or upgrade the books I already own. Unlike Peggy, I’m so ambivalent about collecting that I have gotten rid of most of what I ever owned or, at the very least, stopped augmenting my various collections (rocks, potted plants, Indian artifacts, and postcards). Deland’s works are really the only collecting that I’ve ever spent much money on, but I can’t tell you how much because I don’t know. I’ve come to admire her ever more as my knowledge grows, and I’m also pleased to report that, through her, I’ve learned a great deal about her era and a little about the other literary notables of her day. Yet, the fact remains that she is dead (1857-1945), and this is ever a great sadness to me partly because it keeps me in closer touch than usual with my own mortality, death already being something about which I’m obsessed.

Until yesterday when I contributed to socialist Bernie Sanders’ campaign, I had never given a penny to any political candidate. I chose Sanders not because I’m a socialist but because he’s the only person whose integrity I trust, and the reason I gave to him yesterday wasn’t Bernie but Hillary. Her insistence that she’s her “own person” despite her and Bill taking $25-million in 16-months from Big Business for making speeches(!) struck me as laughable in the manner of a person who imagines herself to be the only one on earth with a brain. However, the final straw was the hypocritical, sexist, and condescending remarks of Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem, remarks that were directed at under-thirty women, a group that favors Bernie over Hillary by a six-to-one margin. While Hillary didn’t make these remarks, she approved of Madeleine’s, and she didn’t refute Gloria’s. (http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/02/09/hillary-clinton-gloria-steinem-madeleine-albright-sad-sound-feminist-desperation.html). For those who don’t want to go to the link, here is the barest text of the remarks:

Madeleine Albright (America’s first female secretary of state) on why young women should vote for Hillary: “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”

Gloria Steinem (founder of Ms Magazine) on why young women favor Bernie over Hillary: “When you’re young you’re thinking, where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie.”

The aged should be role models for the young, but what young woman will take either of these people seriously after such sexist hypocrisy and condescension, especially given that Albright’s excuse was that Hillary had said the same thing, while Steinem insisted she had been misinterpreted, an explanation so at variance with the clarity with her original statement as to further suggest that she considers young women unwilling to think for themselves.

Ollie is in my lap watching the words I type move across the monitor. He’s a prince among cats and more beautiful to me than any woman—except for Peggy, of course! I rejoice at finally reaching a place where a woman’s looks mean almost nothing to me.

My outward life is too boring to write about, which is why I tend to share thoughts rather than events. One of the advantages of a boring life is the leisure to have thoughts that are worth sharing. Peggy and I are opposites in that she reaches her beliefs at a gut level and then digs a moat around them. She and I still agree about most things, but she gets there by an easier process. I enjoy the process, and I want to be sure that I’m not overlooking something, whereas she hates the process and is so confident in her positions that it doesn’t occur to her that she might be overlooking something. I find her self-confidence disconcerting.

I probably haven’t brought it up for years, so most of you might not know that Peggy is an ardent collector of clothing buttons. She has been president of her local club and of the Oregon state club, and is currently the “Chair of Judges and Classification,” which is the most technically demanding job in the state club. She spends at least eight hours a week arranging her buttons on trays—according to designs that she creates on the computer—that she then slides into display cases. We got a router to make these cases because the better bought ones are expensive, and ours are superior to them anyway. She started her collection in 1988, and I was pleased that she had chosen an inexpensive hobby that wouldn’t take much space. Now, the buttons she buys are often expensive, and pretty much any cabinet in the house that will hold buttons is stuffed with buttons, including five legal-size file cabinets. Then there is the expense of her travel to national conventions, state conventions, and state committee meetings. The cost of the buttons themselves comes out of “her” money, but the travel doesn’t, so when I started collecting Deland, she said I could pay for my purchases out of common funds, and I accepted her offer because I have no travel expenses.

Since she retired two years ago, Peggy has become quite social, there being days that I hardly see her, and times when she’s out of town for up to a week. Yesterday, for example, she was at a button-related meeting for five hours; then she took an uphill walk that I couldn’t go on because of my knees; and then she went to her weekly pinochle group. While she was doing all this, I was catching up on housework and paperwork, baking crackers, and making both buckwheat and lemon pancakes for the freezer. Much of the housework falls to me simply because she’s not here. This is fine, but sometimes I wish I had someplace to go too, although I don’t wish it hard enough to actually do it. We know another couple with whom we get together for dinner occasionally, but aside from that, my “social life” consists of the Internet, exchanging a few words with Peggy’s friend, Ilse, when Ilse picks her up to go somewhere, and chatting with neighbors and other acquaintances who I happen to see.


I got a phone call yesterday from a blog-buddy (Dana) in Florida. It was the first time I’ve actually talked to someone whom I met through blogging, and neither of us sounded like the other expected. She had retired to Florida from Ohio, so I thought she would have an Ohio accent, but she sounded as Southern as it gets, and her voice was much gentler than I expected given that she’s a bit of a firebrand on the Internet. She said she had expected me to sound weak—due to living with physical pain—and was surprised that my voice was strong and masculine. It was quite a thrill to us both, I think, to talk to one another, and we were both comfortable doing it. I’m no fan of the telephone, but when that and the Internet are all you’ve got, it’s all you’ve got, so you have to use it well, and we did.

I baked my first crackers back in the ’70s from a recipe given to me by an Episcopal priest who was looking for someone to bake whole-grain communion wafers. He chose me because he knew I liked to bake, and I readily assented because I found the idea of making crackers much more appealing than yeast breads. Now, I’m down to three different kinds out of the many I’ve tried: Parmesan, mixed grain, and my own version of the recipe the priest gave me. People don’t tend to like my crackers—which are more like hardtack than like the crackers you buy in the store—but I love them, and Peggy is a big fan of the Parmesan ones, at least, which I roll out thin just for her. I’m proud to say that I never use timers for baking because I consider them jarring and offensive. Besides, timers are worthless with crackers because they aren’t all ready at the same time. (In case you’re wondering, I have never once burned anything.)

One of the joys of baking is that I can watch DVDs. I’ve seen every episode of Banacek (a campy George Peppard who-done-it from the ’70s) at least twenty times, but right now, I’m captivated by Perry Mason. As with Banacek, I watch the same episodes again and again. I find this meditative in the same way that listening to the same beloved music repeatedly is meditative. The more I watch, the deeper I sink into the ambiance of the program, and the more the world around me disappears—except for the crackers, of course. 

I’ve memorized a lot of poems over the years, and I occasionally have to freshen up on them, so now that I've quit Ambien cold turkey, I lie awake saying poems. The longest one I know is The Raven, with the next longest being Mr. Floods Party. I know more than one poem each by Robert Frost, Edwin Arlington Robinson, and Edna St. Vincent Millay, but my favorite poem might be Wordsworths I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud. I have no interest in non-rhyming poetry because it isn’t fun to say.

50 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

I loved this letter. Thank you.
Cats are perfectly equipped to express their bad moods aren't they? Jazz is an expert, and occasionally punctuates them with slashes.

Stephen Hayes said...

Thanks for catching us up on your life. Hoe odd it must be to have an otherwise happy kitty go ballistic on you. I hope he returns to normal soon.

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

The photo of your pretty kitties is well lighted. Sorry your poor Brewsky had such an ordeal.

I've met two of my blogging buddies in person. One showed up wearing almost an identical outfit to what I was wearing. But both seemed pretty much what I thought they would be as I had talked on-line to both of them.

While planning my trip last month, I had looked up the weather in the places I was passing through. Every time I open the weather channel, tabs pop up showing the much warmer temps of those places, including Eugene and I am envious.

Charles Gramlich said...

strange to think of cats having moods, but I know they do.

BBC said...

The politicians are pretty entertaining this time around but I think I won't vote in the next election.

Dat's a lot of buttons...

Renae said...

I understand your connection with Margaret Deland. I did extensive research of my family tree, tracing one line back to the 1600s, and learning everything I could about what everyday life was like during each era. The entire experience was surreal in that I felt an intimate closeness - and yearning to meet - people who are long gone.

rhymeswithplague said...

I enjoyed reading your newsy letter very much. I often quote poetry to myself too, usually short ones like "Annabel Lee" or "Abou Ben Adhem" or "Jenny Kissed Me" or "I Do Not Like Thee, Dr. Fell" or an occasional odd stanza from "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" or "The Rubiyat of Omar Khayyam" -- I have no idea why except that I enjoy the sound they make inside my head. Perhaps this is a way of keeping one's mind active and fending off Alzheimer's.


Anonymous said...

A gal I follow online, has written about her cats when they come home from the vet, which you have described. I believe there is a name for the behavior. It takes a couple of days for the cats to get back to normal.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to add my name-Kris

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello,

I enjoyed reading this fabulous letter. No doubt it is long but interesting.

You started with your cat and ended with William Wordsworth's I WANDERED LONELY AS A CLOUD. I had to by heart the poem when I was in school and even now the following lines are firmly imprinted on my mind ==

BESIDE THE LAKE, BENEATH THE TREES,
FLUTTERING AND DANCING IN THE BREEZE.

I have reproduced this poem in one of my earlier blogs titled LIFE IN MOTION in October 2008.

I loved reading Earl Stanley Gardner when I was in school. Perry Mason and Della Street make a great combination.

Raven is another poem I have read.

You are an expert in cooking and I am struggling to make some simple things like soup. Today, I made soup out of lentils, tomato, onions and oats. Not very tasty but I sat and drank it with great satisfaction because I made it myself. But my wife refused taste it. It doesn't matter. I felt a sense of achievement.

I am glad that you could speak to a blog friend
Once I met a blog friend who visited my town and we had a long chat in a restaurant and I even wrote a blog post about it with our photo.

I am thrilled to read that Peggy holds important positions in your town and still she finds time to take care of you and the pets. A very talented person.

I always felt Bill Clinton should have been impeached for his disgusting behavior while he was President. But I was surprised to see that the American people elected him for a second time. Normally, any other American woman would have divorced her husband but Hillary did not. She is very loyal to him. I admired this great quality in her.

Some how I not in favor of Democratic presidents. They are weak people and they play safe. They encourage terrorism all over the world. I am always on the side of the Republicans. My favorite is George Bush the junior. He put the fear of God in terrorists. But Obama came and he messed up every thing because he played safe. Even now I favor Trump. You might object to this.

I am sure if you set your mind on it, you can write books on pets just like James Herriot.

Great writing. I enjoyed reading it.

Best wishes




PhilipH said...

A most enjoyable read. Makes a nice change from theist reminisces et al.

Have you heard of a writer/playwright named Alan Bennett? He is one of my favourites and I've just finished his "The Lady in the Van" and "The Uncommon Reader". The former is now on the big screen and I've pre-ordered the DVD. It's a true tale of a woman who could have been a concert pianist but chose to be a nun. She was unsuited to this calling and ended up living in an old van, parked in Alan Bennett's garden. I look forward to the DVD and hope it lives up to Bennett's written record of her cranky life. The other book is a fiction about a young kitchen hand (Norman) in Buckingham Palace who met the Queen when she investigated a mobile library in the palace grounds. The story implies that HM Queenie did not read books. Norman suggests a book she might enjoy. She becomes an avid reader and eventually decides she might try her hand at writing. It's a clever little tale, imo, with an elegant twist in the tale.

Cheers, Phil

lotta joy said...

I hate using the telephone and will hand it to Joe when it rings, because I'm usually saying "What? AGAIN?" even if the caller hasn't called in over a year. But when I needed help, the only one I knew who would be there for me, in my corner, would be you, dear man. After we hung up, I told Joe your voice was melodious. MY voice is pure hillbilly, and I do speak gently - even though I hear myself as squawking. And I speak with an INDIANA (not Ohio) hillbilly accent so thick few people know what I'm actually saying.

Our family pets only know one thing when we leave them at the vet's - or the kennel. And what they fear is that WE ARE ABANDONING THEM. The pack never abandons one of their own, and it is the ultimate betrayal. Peggy can just be glad if she is EVER accepted back in Brewski's circle of honor.

Snowbrush said...

“Cats are perfectly equipped to express their bad moods aren't they?”

Part of the charm of our two main mammals—cats and dogs—is that they’re so very different from one another.

“How odd it must be to have an otherwise happy kitty go ballistic on you. I hope he returns to normal soon.”

I wouldn’t call it ballistic. He was simply expressing his anger and frustration. He didn’t destroy anything or hurt anyone, although I thought it was wise of Ollie to give him space. Although Brewsky is a 16 pounder and Ollie only weighs 8 pounds, the trust between them is such that Ollie plays more roughly with Brewsky than Brewsky does with him. That night was the only time that I’ve ever seen Ollie back away from Brewsky.

“Every time I open the weather channel, tabs pop up showing the much warmer temps of those places, including Eugene and I am envious.’

Eugene is in the southern end of the Willamette Valley. Sixty miles south of here is the town of Roseburg, which is in the Umpqua Valley. Just in that short distance, the climate becomes much drier and much warmer, both in winter and summer, so whereas I envy the people down there in the winter, I’ve VERY glad I don’t live there in the summer because the temperature difference is between five and ten degrees. I don’t know why, but Eugene’s climate is heavily influenced the ocean while Roseburg is a lot like inland California.

“strange to think of cats having moods, but I know they do.”

Charles, I find it strange to think that it seems strange to you because why WOULDN’T cats have moods? They’re mammals who share nearly all of their genes with us, so I find that they’e much like us. They’re not as social to be sure, but I regularly see in them such things as trust, doubt, anger, happiness, playfulness, fear, annoyance, and curiosity, among others.

“The politicians are pretty entertaining”

Thanks largely to Trump. I think it likely that he will run even if he doesn’t get the nomination, but if he doesn’t, I’ll miss him because the other Republicans are so grim and humorless, and, as I see it, every bit as childish and asinine as Trump, but completely without the entertainment factor.

“The entire experience was surreal in that I felt an intimate closeness - and yearning to meet - people who are long gone.”

I understand. I would very much like to know about my Granny’s side of the family (American Indian), but since she was orphaned, I have no idea how to learn anything.

“Perhaps this is a way of keeping one's mind active and fending off Alzheimer’s.”

I would guess that Alzheimer’s is the worst fear of the aging. Peggy and I have a friend who almost certainly has it, but neither she nor her “partner” will admit it to the point of seeking treatment. We’ve been watching her get worse for upwards of five years now, so it’s slow, but it’s definitely there to the point of preventing her from having a norma life. P.S. The only poem I know by Poe is El Dorado, which was prominent in two different Westerns.

Snowbrush said...

“A gal I follow online, has written about her cats when they come home from the vet, which you have described. I believe there is a name for the behavior. It takes a couple of days for the cats to get back to normal.”

Brewsky was back to normal in no more than an hour. He had a supper and got as much loving attention from Peggy and me as he would allow, so it didn’t take long for him and Ollie to be snuggling together. Now, we’re having to shove liquid antibiotics down his throat. He hates it, of course, but he allows me to do it, and I find the look of trust in his eyes to be very touching. His emotional vulnerability is something that I have no words for because it’s not the kind of thing that people associate with cats. I have come to hate the way that cats are stereotyped because it’s so unrelated to whom they are, and it gives no room for them to be different one from another.

“Today, I made soup out of lentils, tomato, onions and oats.”

Soup is the only thing that I enjoy cooking (as opposed to baking, which I very much enjoy). Cumin, turmeric, bay leaves, and rosemary are pretty tasty in such a soup as you’ve described, at least to me. You being in India, you might have different preferences. Bullion cubes and hot sauce also go well. I would also suggest celery, carrots, rice, and potatoes. Of course, some things cook faster, so you might not want to put everything in at once. I would also suggest that you save the spices until the last five minutes or so because they taste stronger if they don’t cook for a long time, but most people don’t seem to know this.

Snowbrush said...

“Some how I not in favor of Democratic presidents. They are weak people and they play safe.”

Joseph, how can a person who follows Christ approve of violence? Was Christ violent? I can show you verses in which he abhorred violence, but I don’t know of any in which he promoted it. Blustering and being quick to make war isn’t necessarily weakness. However, most of America’s wars have been started by Democrats, and they were not men who were so weak and flaky as Obama, a man who repeatedly makes threats that he doesn’t carry out, this to the point that he’s a joke both to our friends and our enemies. When I heard him threatening North Korea after the recent missile firing, I just had to laugh because his threats are so empty. Still, he has enlarged the wars that Bush started. Thanks to him, we’ve had another eight years of stupid wars that have done nothing to weaken the resolve of terrorists, and out of which has come the Islamic State. Way to go Obama!

As for Bush, my god, he attacked the wrong country, and is largely responsible for the mess the Middle East is in today! The trouble with committing America’s resources to a completely unnecessary war is that we don’t have them when are actually needed. As for his scaring terrorists, I believe that he cemented their resolve and caused them to hate us even more (fear is hardly an issue for people who are bent on martyrdom). Talking tough, imprisoning people for life with no evidence, and bombing people into oblivion doesn’t suggest strength. I’m also struck by the fact that man whose father pulled strings to keep him from going to war, could do these things without personally being shot at or having vehicles blown-up with him them. This allowed him to boast about being a “war president” while living in complete safety. I also believe Bush was deficient in personal intelligence, and his utter belief that God was guiding him led him to disregard the counsel of others and to make emotional decisions rather than rational ones, this while lacking any ability to admit his mistakes. He is the poster child for relying on God because once you claim that God is behind you, you can throw every virtue out the window.

“She was unsuited to this calling and ended up living in an old van, parked in Alan Bennett's garden.”

I haven’t even heard of Bennett, and I appreciate you summarizing a couple of his scripts. As for the washed-out nun, I’ve no doubt but that many people’s talents have been wasted on the altar of God. A major example of this waste would be some religions’ prohibition of art, dance, and music.

Snowbrush said...

“I told Joe your voice was melodious. MY voice is pure hillbilly, and I do speak gently - even though I hear myself as squawking. And I speak with an INDIANA (not Ohio) hillbilly accent so thick few people know what I'm actually saying.”

When I moved to Oregon, I had to repeat myself a lot because people couldn’t understand me. This was hard on me because I stuttered as a child and couldn’t pronounce the letter “L,” so I grew up with a tremendous fear of the sound of my own voice, and having to repeat myself when I moved to Oregon made this fear worse because people would be watching me so closely. I’m pretty much over all that now, but fear of speaking was a major issue for me for much of my life. I didn’t have a problem understanding you. As for the phone, Peggy usually gets it because no one calls me anyway, so it makes no sense for me to answer it only to turn it over to her. However, when you called, she was busy with something—I think she was in the shower—so I got it. On nights and weekends, I tend to let the answer machine get it is she can’t, but since business calls come in on weekdays, I usually answer it so as to avoid playing phone tag.

Sparkling Red said...

Both of your cats are beautiful, but Ollie does have a spectacular coat. One of my fur brothers has a coat like that: healthy, glossy, and plush. It's a good thing that he likes to be petted, because I have a hard time keeping my hands out of his fur.

I'm intrigued by Peggy's button collection! I would love to see a photo of one of her button drawers. When I was a child, one of my "toys" was a coffee can full of a pound of random buttons that my mom had bought on sale at a fabric store. Some of them were very unique. They must have been donated when my parents moved a few years ago, which makes me a bit sad. I'd be interested to see them again; and then I could send them to Peggy and find out if any of them have historical value! I would guess that they were manufactured in the 1960's.

Double panties. Tee hee! :-) I can totally see myself doing that someday.

Mim said...

I enjoyed this Snow, relaxing to read

G.B. Miller said...

I thought about supporting Bernie Sanders, until I found out he's just like everyone else.

According to CNN, even though he rails against Wall Street and the financial sector, a good chunk of his campaign money has come from the very same sector that he rails against.

Sad, but true.

rhymeswithplague said...

My toy was a holiday fruitcake tin, circular, filled with all the buttons my mother had carefully removed from old shirts and blouses before turning them into dust cloths. I don't know that trousers ever became dust cloths, but we kept their buttons too. Today's kids have to have a Wii or a Play Station 4 or they feel deprived.

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

We stopped for lunch in Roseberg at the train station 2.5 weeks ago. Seventy degrees. Here it is quite cold and slippery.

Tom Sightings said...

You know, I agree that Bernie probably does truly believe what he's saying. But I'm for Hillary, because we live in the real world -- a real world where people have to learn to compromise, make difficult choices, be accountable for their beliefs and actions, where they respect the views of others -- and where people are not held responsible for what others say about them, but should be held responsible for dirty tricks like claiming (as Bernie did) that some people endorsed him when they didn't.

But more importantly, I think that we should all respect one another's views and that we can all be friends (like Antonin Scalia and Ruth Ginsberg) even though we vote different ways.

Snowbrush said...

“One of my fur brothers has a coat like that: healthy, glossy, and plush. It's a good thing that he likes to be petted, because I have a hard time keeping my hands out of his fur.”

Same here. Ollie’s fur is softer than a rabbit’s, and he doesn’t shed. He’s the sweetest cat I’ve known, the most beautiful cat I’ve known, and after some initial problems with diarrhea, he’s superbly healthy at only six months of age. His great love is water, so it’s hard to keep him out of the shower and the toilet. When I start the shower, I can actually hear him bounding through the house, and pretty soon, there’s that little head peeking around the shower curtain. Ollie is all things good. To say that such a creature is “only an animal” is to display profound ignorance.

“I'm intrigued by Peggy's button collection! I would love to see a photo of one of her button drawers.”

I can post some pictures sometime soon, but she would need to take them because I’ve developed a tremor that makes me no good as a photographer.

“I could send them to Peggy and find out if any of them have historical value! I would guess that they were manufactured in the 1960’s"

Yes, I think I can safely say that she would gladly do that for you, but since you don’t have them anyway, I’ll mention that she finds very few valuable buttons in people’s button tins. A great many of her buttons go back to the 1800s, or else they are modern buttons that were made individually in studios, hence they’re called “studio buttons.” In either case, they are detailed and artistic. Such buttons of often sell in the tens of dollars if not the hundreds of dollars.

“I enjoyed this Snow, relaxing to read”

Thank you.

“According to CNN, even though he rails against Wall Street and the financial sector, a good chunk of his campaign money has come from the very same sector that he rails against.”

Show me the evidence because here’s what I find: Sanders’ top lifetime contributor was a machinist union that only gave $105,000 dollars, which is less than half of the $225,000 that Hillary would get for a single speech: https://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cycle=Career&cid=n00000528; and his largest contributor to this campaign gave far less than that: https://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cid=n00000528&cycle=2016. By contrast, Hillary’s largest lifetime contributor was a superpak that gave $41,000,000. I didn’t find the CNN piece you referred to, but I did find one that list Sanders’ “net worth” as $500,000 and Hillary’s as $25,000,000: http://money.cnn.com/infographic/economy/hillary-clinton-vs-bernie-sanders/

“My toy was a holiday fruitcake tin, circular, filled with all the buttons”

Mine too, and I still have it. It’s eight-sided with a carrying handle and has patriotic illustrations on every side and the top. The difference in us and Peggy is that she still takes childlike joy in buttons, but they’re also an artistic and scholarly pursuit. She also takes great pride in creating attractive cards to mount them on. Peggy hated computers until she discovered how well they serve for creating patterns to go on button cards. She uses Apple Art, or something like that, and she’s the only one here who knows how to use it because I’m purposely stayed out of it because I don’t want to be called everytime she has a problem

“We stopped for lunch in Roseberg at the train station 2.5 weeks ago. Seventy degrees. Here it is quite cold and slippery.”

Here, it has been in the fifties and sixties a lot. The daffodils beat the crocuses this year, and I have a bouquet of little daffodils in front of me as I type. I think I actually like the little ones better because they’re so finely featured.

Snowbrush said...

“people are not held responsible for what others say about them, but should be held responsible for dirty tricks like claiming (as Bernie did) that some people endorsed him when they didn’t.”

Tom, you remind me of a rabbit that withdraws his head from one hole only to poke it out another. Give me some sources, will you, because if he did such a thing, I assume there was more to it than a simple lie, because even if he was a person given to lying, why would he lie about something so easily disproven? (Speaking of lying, the Republicans accused one another of lying 22 times in the latest debate.) Besides, it simply doesn’t fit the overall pattern of Sanders’ behavior. It’s not like he’s one of the current crop of Republicans whose desperation is so evident as to be embarrassing. For instance, take Jeb trashing Trump. Could anyone appear more weak or desperate than Jeb for trying to take Trump on in an arena that Trump is good at, and for which Jeb has no ability whatsoever. He has done everything but cry in his frustration at being outranked in the arena of dirty politics, yet this doesn’t keep him from trying to play dirty.

“I think that we should all respect one another's views and that we can all be friends (like Antonin Scalia and Ruth Ginsberg) even though we vote different ways”

Why should anyone respect views that they consider wrong or immoral? I might respect my Christian friends—or my Republican friends—as well-meaning people, but I can hardly respect beliefs that I consider to have been founded on air and to have caused more suffering than benefit. When I look at what this Supreme Court has done, I consider much of it to be evil. For example, allowing municipalities to take away people’s property and give it to rich people who can pay more taxes. They’re also responsible for the fact that politicians can now raise hundreds of millions of dollars from anonymous donors, which has truly turned the country over to the wealthy at the expense of everyone and everything else. Me respect Scalia? Hell no. I’m glad he’s dead, not because I hated him as a person, but because I think he has done such grievous harm to this country, and death has taken his ability to do even more harm. Of course, the Republicans are vowing that they won’t even consider a replacement until the next election when they will hopefully have a Republican president to make the appointment. Am I to respect their views about this? It’s not going to happen. I think of my Republican friends like Rhymes, and I don’t even know how he can respect it because it’s so blatantly unfair. It’s a “win at any cost” approach to politics. When I think of the Republican Party, I think of fascism, and I don’t respect fascism.

rhymeswithplague said...

When I hear the words "win at any cost" what spring instantly to mind are the Democratic Party and people like Harry Reid and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (plus, it must be admitted, the occasional Republican anomaly like Watergate).

Also, fascism is not on the right and Socialism/Communism on the left. The world is not flat, it's a sphere, and those ideologies meet one another round back. Trite, I know, but hey, this is my comment here.

Snowbrush said...

No political, religious, or other affiliation can guarantee personal integrity. For example, I think that Hillary (and Bill too in some ways) is obnoxious, unethical, and lacking in vision. However, there is a big difference in the way the two parties now operate, and it is that the Republicans consider compromise a weakness and take the position that the government that governs the least is the government that governs the best, i.e. let Big Business do whatever it wants and people die in the streets as more and more of us can no longer afford medical care.

You will surely agree that it is generally true that Republicans favor fewer restrictions on the behavior of business and more restrictions on the behavior of individuals, while Democrats favor more restrictions on the behavior of business and fewer restrictions on the behavior of individuals. While both parties must be short-sighted in order to win elections—present wealth being immeasurably more important in the minds of most people than the future welfare of the planet and its human inhabitants—Republicans, as a whole, don’t even pretend to pretend to care about anything else (they trust that God won’t allow ecosystems to fail, and that global warming doesn’t exist), while Democrats at least acknowledge that there is a problem.

As for the difference between fascism and socialism, I’ll just paste a few sentences from http://www.just-say-why.com/blog/2012/04/21/whats-the-difference-between-fascism-socialism-and-communism/

“Fascism is best described as a merging of corporate and government interests. In simpler terms, it’s when corporations have taken over the government. This is also called a Oligarchy because the wealthy control the entire country.”

“Socialism is where people are directly involved in the production of goods and services, things like cooperatives where the workers are the owners of the businesses. This doesn’t mean the government owns and manages the businesses. The business exists for the sake of providing for society, or the social good.”

I guess you know that Donald Trump has promised to “keep us safe,” even at the cost of abandoning the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, yet he is the overwhelmingly favored candidate of Republicans, so what does this tell you about how much Republicans as a group value freedom? No people are quicker than conservatives to wave the flag in honor of those who have died to preserve freedom, yet it now appears that no people are quicker than they to trade freedom for safety, thus surrendering the very thing that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Americans have died to defend. I can’t get my mind around this, and I don’t know how you can. I know you’re not for Trump, yet how can you respect your Party as whole given the willingness of its people to choose personal survival over principal even before a shot has been fired? I’m reminded of the Israelites who so quickly decided that they preferred the slavery of Egypt over the freedom of the Sinai because at least in Egypt, they had turnips (I think it was turnips, but I trust that you’ll be so kind as to correct me if I have my veggies wrong).

kylie said...

Dearest Snow,
Thank you for your newsy letter, it always brightens my day when i hear from you.
A few years ago I found and rescued a very small kitten, we couldnt really keep her here and my parents were pet-less at the time so they took her and within a year she was poisoned (possibly by a neighbour's garden chemicals) and required days on dialysis. As it happened mum & dad were invited to a wedding and so, with nothing they could do for poor Oscar, they left her in the care of the vets and travelled to the wedding. They fretted all the way there but by the time they got back, the cat was well enough to go home and my parents were $1000 poorer. I still get a lot of lighthearted bkame for that little expense!
One of our rabbits recently punctured his eye and is needing weekly check ups, we hope he will make a full recovery but it's hard to predict. He is currently in a small hutch rather than his generous outdoor run, it's easier to manage medications that way, but he isnt happy there and has lost 10% of his weight. I look forward to the day we can return him to the run with his brother.
Do you feel a sense of freedom when Peggy is away? I used to think I had less obligations when my husband went away but now it doesnt feel much different except that i have to be responsible for more things.
I have met quite a number of my blogmates and they all turn out to be true to their written word. I have never had a conscious expectation of how a blogmate will be but i have also never been surprised. How you and Dana get to be friends is beyond me, you put so much effort into being reasonable and she is so much of a "my way or the highway" person. People are endlessly fascinating, arent they?
Take care, my friend and write again

Kylie xo

rhymeswithplague said...

Close (not). It was fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic! See Numbers 11:5 (Numbers is the fourth book in the Bible --between Leviticus and Deuteronomy).

Happy to be of service!

uthman saheed said...

The cats are not looking bad. Its been awhile you wrote about them. Nice!

So you can bake? That's really pretty nice to know. Most men belived baking and cooking are strictly women responsibility in Africa.

Talking to someone you met on the internet is good especially when you keep the right minded buddy. I also have some couples of online friends that we now talk on phone on a daily basis.

I love this letter, its cool talking about American politics as well. All eyes on 2016, and am currently following the trend of dramatic debate going on among the political parties.

Thank you for sharing this.

Snowbrush said...

“It was fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic!”

Surely, there were cucumbers….Oh, I now see that you DID includ cucumbers—I wish you would speak up. I wonder if they had salt for their cukes, and what kinds of melons did they have? I know that if I were considering trading my freedom for melons, I would definitely want to know what kind. Nothing against cantaloupes, but I wouldn’t go into slavery for them, but for good watermelons? Maybe.Of course, I would have to take into consideration that it would be a HOT watermelon, and they probably wouldn’t give me any salt for it either… Just look at Ollie and tell me if he doesn’t look a pharaoh, and come to think of it, that’s about how he’s treated around here. Peggy and I used to lie in bed and stare all doe-eyed at one another; now we lie in bed at stare doe-eyed at our cat.

“Most men belived baking and cooking are strictly women responsibility in Africa.”

So, how do you feel about me being a baker, my friend? Also, what do the women in your fair land of Nigeria bake? I suppose I picture them baking some kind of flat bread since that seems to be a hit the world over, especially in the hotter parts of the globe. What about in the military—don’t men bake in the military? Traditionally, in America, women did the cooking except for where rich people and expensive restaurants were concerned, and they often hired male chefs.

I could tell you all manner of shocking facts about how non-traditional Peggy and I are. For instance, did you know that we used to be in a group marriage with another woman (the law prevented us from making it legal, but, as much as possible, we lived as if it were. Also, she’s retired now, but she made most of the money in our 44-year relationship because I never made much even when I was working, and much of my work—carpentry, roofing, plumbing, electrical work, and yard work—was done on our various houses (we’ve owned four houses in three states), and for that I made no money, although I certainly saved us a lot. Another funny thing is that my favorite color is pink, and her’s is blue, which is just the opposite of what men and women are “supposed” to prefer (people even buy pink clothes and blankets for girls and blue ones for boys). Clearly, if we lived in a time and place where men and women were bound to strick gender roles, neither of us would have been happy.

“I love this letter, its cool talking about American politics as well.”

Thank you. Tell me something, will you? Where you live, would it be safe to blog approvingly in regard to atheism, Christianity, and homosexuality—how about minority politics? Here, a blogger might arouse a lot of controversy, but it’s unlikely that he would come to harm, and this is something that worries me about militant Islam, not just because of militant Islam itself but because some liberal nations now have laws against offending religious people.

It can create a lot of bitterness here because the nation has become increasingly divided between extremes. Trump and Sanders are on opposite sides, yet they are alike in that neither was thought to have any chance of winning when they started out, yet they’ve both so risen in popularity that they very well could win, and if you want to see a record-breaking voter turnout, just let those guys be the candidates. Did you know it takes a billion dollars to run for president in America? It’s a joke here to say that we have the best politicians that money can buy.

Snowbrush said...

“Do you feel a sense of freedom when Peggy is away?”

Yes. I also work more, not because more needs to be done, but because I don’t have to accommodate anyone but myself, so I can use that time to "catch up" as it were. After about five days, I miss her too much to want her to stay gone any longer.

“How you and Dana get to be friends is beyond me, you put so much effort into being reasonable and she is so much of a "my way or the highway" person.”

It might help that we agree about most things. She calls me brother and I call her sister, and it feels right, maybe the moreso because we are both almost without family. She’s on the outs with some of hers, and my only “whole” sister hasn’t spoken to me since 1994 (she’s mad because our father left everything to me, and she’ll stay that way until I share it with her, which means that she’ll die without us ever speaking). I have another sister, a “half” sister with whom I correspond. She too often gets mad at me, but never goes away completely. She also email sometimes, and I value that.

“People are endlessly fascinating, aren’t they?”

I have a rather low opinion of them enmasse, but I tend to like the ones I actually meet, although I find cats, dogs, and children less troublesome.

fiftyodd said...

Wow. You must spend a long time replying to blog comments. That is intimidating. One has to be so careful what one says as each word will be analysed and commented on. I enjoyed this post: I am not a cat person (do you have children?), but I enjoyed the rest. It has fascinated me that many blog-followers are quite happy to read about one's mundane and routine every-day life. I guess that is the secret of the TV soapies. Perhaps it is because one can then think, "thank God, my life is no less eventful or boring than the next person's". I am normal. I love it that you bake: we have visitors for a week next week, and I am going to make a load of pastry to make pies. Last week, we made 18 kilos of venison/mutton mince and 20 kilos of pork (well, wild pig) sausage. At the moment, hubby is making a frame to put on our trailer on which to load our 25-year-warrantied mattress which has collapsed, in order to get it into Cape Town for repair. Never a dull moment really.

Snowbrush said...

“You must spend a long time replying to blog comments. That is intimidating. One has to be so careful what one says as each word will be analysed and commented on.”

I’m astounded because I rather saw it as a good thing, a gift even, that comes from a desire to give good attention and to engage beyond the superficial. One of my major disappointments with blogging is that many people post nothing but trivia and that their readers people respond to it with one-liners. It’s not that every post needs to be intellectually or emotionally significant, but on many blogs, none are. If I limited myself that way, I wouldn’t blog at all. Another thing that surprises me about so many blogs is that the person is married but never posts about his or her spouse. Maybe their spouses forbid it, but again, if I were so limited, I don’t know that I would blog, and I might not even be with my wife if she were that secretive. On one occasion, I lost two friends—a couple—over a post, but it turned out that they used it as an occasion to tell me that they had numerous problems with me, so the post was simply the final straw, and one for which I could make no apology.

“I am not a cat person (do you have children?), but I enjoyed the rest.”

No kids. Peggy and I spent forty years as dog people, but we finally got burned-out with how much work dogs are, and that’s why we have cats. The self-cleaning feature, the litter-box feature, the “I’m not completely miserable when I’m alone” feature, and the “I NEVER want to go for a walk” feature, make cats ever so much easier. Granted, cats are not dogs, but they aren’t the distant, callous, and uncaring creatures that people make them out to be either. Indeed, our cats are very attached to us.

“It has fascinated me that many blog-followers are quite happy to read about one's mundane and routine every-day life.”

I know. Bloggers will write post after photo-laden post about how cute their grandkids are, and people who have never laid eyes on their grandkids will read them. I think the truth is that (a) most people are fairly shallow (which DOESN’T mean they’re dumb), and that (b) people visit bloggers who visit their blogs no matter how boring those blogs are.

Michael Valentine Smith said...

I consider the world of cyber communication to be an adjunct to the real world. If a person is fully engaged in the real world, then the cyber world and blogging plays a small part. But if a person is not fully engaged in the real world and lacks the ability to interact with people on a personal level, then the cyber world becomes more important. A man can imagine himself to the smartest creature on earth and spin all sorts of tales on a blog. It's cheaper than seeing a therapist.

Has anything in human history dumbed people down and spread more false data than facebook? I don't think so.

Why the comment moderation? Are your followers so untrustworthy that their comments require vetting before being published?

Snowbrush said...

“If a person is fully engaged in the real world, then the cyber world and blogging plays a small part.”

So if I write to you about you’ve said, you would regard it as less “real” than if we talk in person? I say this to illustrate my difficulty in understanding the point of your comment, it being based upon terms that I can’t define, terms like “real world and “fully engaged”. Obviously, many people over-emphasis computer-based communication and games, including texting on cellphones, to face-to-face communication, but let’s not forget non-computer related diversions that accomplish the same end. For instance drugs, reading, world travel, hobbies, shopping, TV, gambling, sex, risk taking, acculating money, and hundreds of more things, can all be used to avoid being emotionally present, and they’re not just for humans either. For example, I saw something on TV about monkeys who discovered that the defensive odor emitted by some sort of arthropod would get them high, and this made it a very popular arthropod.

“But if a person is not fully engaged in the real world and lacks the ability to interact with people on a personal level, then the cyber world becomes more important.”

Again, I don’t know what you mean by “real world,” fully engaged,” or “lacks the ability to interact,” however, they seem to portray the situation as rather more black and white than I’m comfortable with, so I’lll run something past you, and you can let me know if I’m right. Ram Dass and Thích Nhất Hạnh are two notable modern gurus who insist that not being in the “real world” means not being fully present in the moment. To address this, Ram Dass—in Be Here Now—forbade a traveling companion from talking about any person or event that was someplace else, whether geographically or in time, and Thích Nhất Hạnh even objected to a person talking, watching TV, while doing dishes, his feeling being that when you sweep, do dishes, chop wood, and so forth, that should be all you. So, my friend, is there how you think we should live?

“A man can imagine himself to the smartest creature on earth and spin all sorts of tales on a blog. It's cheaper than seeing a therapist.”

It’s also not so great a waste of time.

“Has anything in human history dumbed people down and spread more false data than facebook?”

Or TV, texting and so forth. We’re coming be less and less interested in that which is isn’t both instantly available and bumper-sticker brief.

“Why the comment moderation? Are your followers so untrustworthy that their comments require vetting before being published?”

I guess you need to define “untrustworthy" as well as it surely suggests more that one possibility, but why would is it that the supposed ill-will of my readers was the only possibility that suggested itself to you? That said, I enabled comment moderation because I don’t want to waste my readers’ time with SPAM, rabid attacks on yours truly, comments that have nothing whatever to do with the subject of the post, comments that contain nothing more than a personal message to me, and duplicate comments by people whom aren’t sure their first comment went through. For the same reason—not wanting to waste time or cause their mailboxes to be stuffed unnecessarily—I often address multiple comments in the same comment box.

Friko said...

Hello Snowbrush, I really enjoyed this inconsequentially rambling letter. I haven’t ‘known’ you for long but this letter has given me a detailed insight into what kind of person you are. Okay, here it is: I like you.

You appear to be gentle, amusing, thoughtful, cat-loving, wife-loving, eminently sensible and an accomplished cook, baker and all-round bottle-washer.

I shall look forward to more of these letters.

Snowbrush said...

“this letter has given me a detailed insight into what kind of person you are. Okay, here it is: I like you.”

Why thank you!

“You appear to be gentle, amusing, thoughtful, cat-loving, wife-loving, eminently sensible and an accomplished cook, baker and all-round bottle-washer.”

Give me a moment to go over your list to see if I agree… I especially love “eminently sensible,” because I try very, very hard not to do stupid things if only because they put a person to a lot more work, and that’s if they can be remedied at all. I would only dispute two of your points. I like to cook soups, but other than that, I would say, “Put a recipe book in front me, and I can probably cook whatever you want cooked, but I will neither hate doing it nor enjoy doing it.” I’m only fair at yeast breads because the whole grain loaves never come out as well as the bleached loaves (which I don’t cook)—maybe I would do better if I used special bread flour or had some of the additives the big bakers use. Crackers, though, that’s my love and my meditation. One batch takes three hours, and they’re messy to roll out, and I’ve never met another person who baked crackers or even had an interest in homemade crackers. so what’s to love? It’s the sturdiness, the primitiveness, and the fact they keep indefinitely, of crackers, as well as the fact that if I don’t bake them, I won’t have them. It is not a shared enthusiasm. Put a loaf of homemade yeast bread in front of a person, and they drool, but put a recipe of crackers in front of them, and they look loathe to even taste them, and make no comment when they do.

byGeorge said...

I loved this post. Now I feel I know you a bit more. Sanders is my pick. I did not donate money to his campaign but certainly entertained the idea I have ill feelings about Miss Hillary. She has a vast number of 'fans' though. My gut feeling is that by hook or crook she will come out on top. Why do I feel this way, you may ask. I know enough about the Clintons that there is no trust coming from me. Ha, mark my words, Chelsea will be campaigning for a spot before we can get a deep breath. I think this country has had enough of the Clinton clan. I definitely have. I like Trump too. Spending his own wealth campaigning impressed me much. Has that ever happened in our history?

You have much in common with me and collecting. "I GOT ROCKS", plants galore, collect buttons and apparently books - all kinds- to learn from, for pleasure. What a fool I am, $1000s sunk in books that would take two or more lifetimes to read. Art is my favorite buy today. I must investigate your lady writer; wondering if the library carries any of her writings.

I hope you will continue posting in this chatty mode. Have read but 1 comment so far, yet I'm betting all your readers enjoyed it greatly. Keep 'em coming, Snow.

E. Rosewater said...

Banacek, Perry Mason...

What about Deadwood?

If you're lying awake reciting poems, does your brain get a chance to update its files and put everything in the proper sectors so it can operated at peak efficiency?

kj said...

Hi snow,

I had to look up margaret deland, which i admit with some surprise and embarrassment. i don't read a lot of literary/historical realism but surely i should have heard of her!

i liked your letter also: lots of mish mashes and that's one of my favorite subjects. i like knowing you bake. i do too: breads and biscuits are comfort food for me. i feel productive when i bake.

"sometimes I wish I had someplace to go too, although I don’t wish it hard enough to actually do it." i worry about this for myself sometimes: i walk this balance of being too active and not active enough. maybe because i write, i could so easily remain sedentary and solitary. JB has nudged me to walk with her most days and i do it reluctantly, due to sheer laziest.

it's going to be a painful political season here in america. i shudder.

take care, snow,
love
kj

kj said...

P.S. one of my favorite poems because i wish I'd written it:

The Country
by Billy Collins
I wondered about you
when you told me never to leave
a box of wooden, strike-anywhere matches
lying around the house because the mice

might get into them and start a fire.
But your face was absolutely straight
when you twisted the lid down on the round tin
where the matches, you said, are always stowed.

Who could sleep that night?
Who could whisk away the thought
of the one unlikely mouse
padding along a cold water pipe

behind the floral wallpaper
gripping a single wooden match
between the needles of his teeth?
Who could not see him rounding a corner,

the blue tip scratching against a rough-hewn beam,
the sudden flare, and the creature
for one bright, shining moment
suddenly thrust ahead of his time—

now a fire-starter, now a torchbearer
in a forgotten ritual, little brown druid
illuminating some ancient night.
Who could fail to notice,

lit up in the blazing insulation,
the tiny looks of wonderment on the faces
of his fellow mice, onetime inhabitants
of what once was your house in the country?
"The Country" by Billy Collins, from Nine Horses: Poems. © Random House, 2003. Reprinted with permission

Snowbrush said...

“What about Deadwood?”

I keep checking my mail, but it’s never there—maybe if you had my address? I’ll give you my address.

“If you're lying awake reciting poems, does your brain get a chance to update its files and put everything in the proper sectors so it can operated at peak efficiency?”

My brane is at peek eficiency. Don’t it show?

P.S. Once again, I’ll put a hold on Deadwood.

“ i don't read a lot of literary/historical realism but surely i should have heard of her!”

I should think. She lived at 35 Newbury St in Boston, which was an easy walk over to Trinity Cathedral to hear Phillips Brooks preach, Brooks being a friend of her and her husband who later became the Episcopal bishop of Massachusetts. After her also famous husband, Lorin, died, she and his black nurse—who had become like a daughter to her—moved to Kennebunkport into a house that she enlarged and which still stands. Deland was a major literary figure in her day, and she did much to make it possible for women to be self-supporting because it was common in her era for middle class women to become destitute after their husbands died, the reason being that they had no marketable skills; it was socially unacceptable for them to work; and it was also socially unacceptable for them to even admit that they were poor. This put them in the position of relying on the charity of friends (such women would sell their needlework to their friends while everyone pretended that the needlework was a “gift” and that the payment was simply given to cover the cost of the materials).

Deland’s characters were often strong women, an outstanding example being steel-mill operator Mrs. Maitland in “The Iron Woman.” Despite her push for women’s rights, she nonetheless opposed women’s suffrage, although she didn’t make a point of doing so. Like a lot of us, Deland had her internal conflicts, one of them being that she was concerned that, with greater rights for women, families would be more prone to fragmentation, so this put her in the position of helping women be independent (through providing job-training schools for example) while worrying that too much independence would destroy families. Her husband was an outstandingly fine man who was at one time the head football coach at Harvard, and who started the world’s first advertising agency. He was also a prominent philanthropist, and it was through him that Margaret became concerned with philanthropy (soon after they were married, they started taking unwed pregnant women into their home). As for independence, Margaret was so bent on being independent that she became alienated from her fairly wealthy and very traditional family while still in her teens so what she feared in regard to women’s ndependence, she had herself experienced.

“it's going to be a painful political season here in america. i shudder.”

I had thought that, perhaps, my support of Sanders would redeem me, at least to some extent, in your eyes even if you’re for Hillary.

I think that Billy Collins is an unfortunate name for a poet, but I believes he’s the poet laureate of America. I’ve heard him interviewed, and he seemed like a pretty good guy, and I very much like the poem you shared, although I’m not sure what it means. Surely, one can be neurotically—and hence miserably—concerned with safety in regard to things that almost surely won’t happen anyway, but I’ve also been struck by the fact that some of the silliest sentiments I’ve ever heard were expressed by various people who claimed that by taking precautions, we attract to ourselves the very things that we fear, hence we shouldn’t take precautions, not only regarding household but even getting mammograms (such people nonetheless look before they cross the street). I definitely lean the other way, seeing some of myself in the woman in the poem.

Snowbrush said...

"Brooks being a friend of her and her husband who later became the Episcopal bishop of Massachusetts."

I meant Brooks, not her husband. Brooks didn't last too long as bishop because he worked himself so hard that he wouldn't slow down for illness.

rhymeswithplague said...

I for one do not ever intend to get a mammogram, but do let us know how yours goes. Also, your author friend may not have realized that anyone who moves to Kennebunkport is destined for obscurity to the third and fourth generation.

I don't think I am high today, but then how would I know?

Snowbrush said...

“Also, your author friend may not have realized that anyone who moves to Kennebunkport is destined for obscurity to the third and fourth generation.”

She was a country girl from western Pennsylvania (her area has since been swallowed up by Pittsburg), and although she lived in NYC and, after she was married, Boston, she wanted to be in the country, so during Lorin’s life—and once they could afford it—they spent summers in Kennebunkport and the rest of the time in Boston. She was a noted lover of dogs and flowers, and her books contain descriptions of every growing thing. You would very much enjoy her Dr. Lavendar books, the good doctor being a country priest of your age who often faced moral dilemmas and tried to help foolish people. You can get them cheap in the first editions if you don’t care too much about their condition.

“I don't think I am high today, but then how would I know?”

Do you feel an ecstatic oneness with all things causing you to feel that you’ve found your home, and it was there all the time? Are you unable to judge the passage of time and,if you’re in a car, of speed? Do the things around you seem alive, and do they flow into one another? Have you lost your sense of personal boundaries, leaving you unable to know where you leave off and other things begin. When you look into the sky, do you feel that you are both on the ground and floating among the clouds? Do you sense that everything is exactly as it should be? Do colors have such depth and vibrancy that you feel as if they’re bottomless? Do trees seem to dance in celebration of life, and are they aware of your presence? Do angels pass above your head speaking strange languages, and do demonic faces threaten you from inanimate objects?

uthman saheed said...

Your relationship with Peggy is such unique one. I doubt if this can be allowed to happen here talkless of making effort to make it legal. A man may marry two women, but not women.

Our women are good in baking and they can bake as much as Americans women do.

How are you!

Snowbrush said...

I doubt that the average American women is much good at baking. Rolls and biscuits come in a pop-open can; pie crusts come ready-made in a disposable aluminum pie plate; cornbread is rarely made anymore except in the Deep South; and pretty much everything can be picked up a bakery including your kid’s birthday cake. Domestic skills are but little valued here. The crackers I bake, I couldn’t buy anywhere at any price, and everything that either of us bake is different from what we could buy in that we use mixed whole grains, canola oil—even for pie crusts—and very little sugar.

“Your relationship with Peggy is such unique one. I doubt if this can be allowed to happen here talkless of making effort to make it legal.”

My image of the world’s poorer countries is that individual rights are but little valued, and that any deviations are met with severe reprisals. While America has many severe problems, they don’t greatly impact people’s personal wealth or freedoms. The former is changing in that the rich here are getting richer and everyone else is getting poorer. Also medical expenses are so high that almost anyone can be bankrupted by illness. Still, if you want to live a life that’s different from most of your fellows, you could worse than to live in America. As I’m sure you know, homosexuals can even marry here and have children, and marijuana is becoming legal in more places almost everyday (when I first started using it, I could have been sent to prison for ten years for a single joint).

rhymeswithplague said...

About your questions to me concerning highness, I think you may be on to something (as opposed to being on something, although that may also be true), especially regarding the trees and also angels. Please go to my other blog, billyraybarnwellhere.blogspot.com, click on Chapter 33 in the right margin, then do a search on the word "Visitation" to see a poem I wrote years ago. Other readers can do the same if they're so inclined; everyone is welcome.

Snowbrush said...

Or they could just read your poem here:

Visitation

Near the mill, in the mist of a morning,
Where the dew was an emerald sea,
There was brilliance aplenty adorning
When angels came walking to me.

For they came with a glorious splendor;
They approached with a jubilant psalm;
And the song that they sang did engender
Magnificent, infinite calm.

Oh, I cannot remember their faces
(Though the music was jubilant psalm),
But a Light filled my hiddenmost places
And healed them with Gilead’s balm.

They passed by without seeming to see me
As they joyously went on their way,
But their jubilant singing did free me
As the Light turned gross darkness to day.

And the glory that shone was resplendent,
And the triumphant sound of their song
That had made one brief moment transcendent
Shall stay with me all my life long.

For the mill was in mist on that morning,
And the dew was an emerald sea
When, with brilliance aplenty adorning,
The angels came walking to me.

I miss drugs. This seems an odd thing to say for a fellow who has narcotics, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, and a drug that makes my dreams so vivid that I can’t tell dreaming from being awake; but what I mean is that I miss hallucinogenics. Even marijuana was enough to make a susceptible soul like myself see visions and hear voices, and this made me go easy on the stronger stuff like LSD and mescaline, although I took them too, and the experience was always good. Now, I want mescaline. Give it to me now, and I would take it now so that I might see the visions again. Marijuana? No, I had to give it up because three hours of feeling frantic followed by a full day or more of being clinically depressed wasn’t a trip that I wanted, and that’s what pot had consistently turned into. It was as if a very good friend had turned against me so hurtfully that I’ll probably never take him into my body again.

You weren’t on drugs, of course, but you might have been because that’s what they often do. One night, drugs first took me to hell—complete with demons. I could hardly walk, and eventually found myself in bed in a dark room, only it wasn’t dark for me, but was full of joyous colors and patterns, somewhat like a kaleidoscope. But the best part came a little after dawn when I went outdoors, sat atop the cab of a truck, and watched pecan trees dance across the Louisiana delta. So, what was real, the ordinary without drugs or the sublime after the drugs should have long since worn off? If I had such experiences as you had, I too might be a believer, but again, I probably wouldn’t. I think we have to die to know.

Ginny said...

I'm a bit behind in responding but if your cat is on dry food switch him to wet food only. Dry is the worst for crystals. No fish flavors either. My vet gave me the special diet dry food but Bosco was not getting better. After some online research I switched to grainfree wet food with no fish and I add water to it. He's been doing great.