Vantage points

In life, there are different perspectives…
Hearts beat to different times,
Memories are caught in grand moments
— or small —
That we cannot explain to others, as though trapped
In a Faulkner novel that repeats

That repeats
That re-beats

Until it falls out of memory and skips back to
Moving forward.
With just one timeline to light our steps.

 ©rjn, 13 April 2016


I have postcards all around my office. Some of them are antique, framed ones, showing photos of places that were near a camp I used to be a counselor at. Others are of bookish things from the British Isles. Still others are art postcards, bought when a local artist’s work delighted me, or a museum had a postcard of a particularly meaningful painting. I’m in the process of making more room in my office, and find that I’ll need to have a postcard framing and hanging afternoon, hopefully when it’s icky outside.

Artists whose postcards I’ve collected:

Martha Dougherty is a contemporary artist who does lovely watercolors set in Baltimore, Maryland — both interior views and external street scenes. Truly lovely. Here’s another one [Madison at Charles Street]. In some of the saturated street scenes, she’s the artist whose work is the closest reflections of the way I see color in landscapes. Very interesting. Linda Hall is another contemporary artist who does watercolors in Chestertown, Maryland.

So, have you collected postcards? If so, are they just mementos of places you’ve been, scenery you love, mail you received from loved ones, or affordable art?




Our attic is like many others after winter: dusty, filled with any number of weird things, and incredibly chaotic. While in the process of straightening things up, I stumbled over:

  • Textbooks (honestly, the philosophy books and Fowlers book on literary crit can go)
  • Children’s books (I’ve tagged most of these for the Little Free Library down the block)
  • Art books (I’m sending several out as surprises, to people I think will like them)

Books I’m sending to the secondhand bookshop include books that scared me witless in 6th grade, and The Endless Steppe, which some child might find interesting, etc.

And then I stumbled over the doll clothing. Most of the doll clothes were all lovely little things that my mother had. Petticoats, pantaloons, dressing gowns, dresses, pantsuits for boy dolls, little flower girl dresses, dresses from Gone with the Wind. Tightly crocheted little caps. And I wonder, eyeing the boxes in the attic: where are the dolls that would have worn them? And will it be a nice or startling surprise.

Birds on film

Unfortunately, this doesn’t reflect what I’ve been able to catch with my camera. But the DC Eagle Cam is up, and it sounds like at least one chick is showing signs it wants to leave the egg.

The infrared camera captures all nighttime activities. Photo: Sue Greeley.

Photo from the Washington, DC Bald Eagle web cam (not my property – see attribution below)

© 2016 American Eagle Foundation, EAGLES.ORG

Click here to go to the Eagle Cam with live bald eagles in Washington DC: eaglecam. It’s the closest humans are going to get while they are in their aerie. Me, I’m a little bit obsessed, after seeing one of the nesting eagles last year flying in the vicinity of the National Arboretum. Meanwhile, after typing the word “eagle” many times, I’m plagued with self-doubt about the spelling.



Spring driving

When winter is nearly over, and spring is starting to bloom or leaf out, I like to vary my commutes so I can take advantage of the sunshine and see a bit of the countryside before I head back to the city. This evening I drove through the hilly valleys where there are state parks and many, many farms with white farmhouses. Some homes had bunting on their gates for St. Patrick’s Day (not sure that was the goal, or it’s a reference to Easter?). A few have egg trees, one house has a northern magnolia in bloom and another has very early forsythia.

And in one place, near where a creek bed snakes along the road, and there’s a small pond, I could hear the spring peepers. I talked about them last year too. Their song is one of the mysterious gifts given to us living on the east coast of the USA. I’ve heard them up in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Vermont. As a city dweller, when I hear them, I’m enchanted. People who live near them during the entire spring peeper mating season may have different reactions, since they can get quite loud.

In my yard, I have an egg tree set up (plastic eggs hung by wire from a miniature magnolia), and underneath it there are mini daffodils and crocuses blooming. Truly lovely. Maybe we’ll have a day without fog and rain when I can take a picture.

So, any detours that invite you when springtime arrives? Or are you more likely to do small auto trips in autumn, to enjoy the cooler weather? It will be cold again by the weekend, so I’m trying to soak up as much sunshine and warmth as I can before then.


March comes in like a kitten

… a #kitten whose every waking moment is filled with a search for the best toy/object to bite/inappropriate place to climb ever.


I receive “help” as I put away some candles.

I think you can sum up the mood of the humans in the house as: “exhausted, amused, and semi-bitten”. She zooms from sleep, to waking, to frightened of snow shovels with snow on them, to biting the older cats. All of which explains lack of knitting content, lack of reading content, languishing blog, etc. Pretty much it’s all kitten time, except when she’s sleeping on our feet.

Reading: The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid

Some books jump to the front of the queue, even when you have perfectly fine reading material home from the library. Val McDermid’s “The Skeleton Road” jumped to the front, in front of the latest Laurie R. King book, and in front of two other books that are due back at the library tomorrow. And it stayed in the front, and was read and reread in 4 days.

Brief sum up: satisfying mystery, with some comic characters, but painted with a very broad brush by the mixed-up sadness of war torn lands. Not sure this is a book I want to see on television, because some things are best left to the imagination. Probably I’m alone there.:-)

I’m  glad not to have seen the blurbs about the book, since they would have colored my reading experience. I plowed into Prologue and first chapter from the start, and found it hard to go back to work after lunch break. Good cold-weather reading, when you don’t want to go out into the howling wind and shovel the snow.



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