Sometime over a year ago, at a suggestion from Stephen Colbert, I logged into Donors Choose and chose a project to fund. The cool thing about Donors Choose is that anyone can contribute for any amount - fund a project in full, or contribute to an ongoing project. I found Ms Szarko's project entitled "The Tale of Unorganized Chapter Books," asking for $30. Read more about Thank You Notes
or What We Did Before the Interwebs
Books, radio, TV. The lines of communication – of story-telling – from Homer to The Walking Dead. All of which have been referenced, at one time or another, in the pixilated pages of barbarasbookhouse.com. The beginning of which is to be found in the good old days in idyllic Iowa. Read more about Idylls of Iowa II
There’s an old nursery rhyme by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that my mother often told to me:
Read more about Idylls of Iowa I>
I had just turned into a sleeping position when the cat jumped up on the bed.
I could feel the soft impact, feel each paw as it explored the duvet for its own perfect place to lie, and then the solid sense of a cat settling down to sleep beside me.
I don’t have a cat.
I did, at one time, have five cats, but slowly their number was whittled down until my last cat died in bed with me one New Year’s Eve a few years back. Read more about Ghost Cats
I went to the Soup Party on Saturday Night. I’ve been going to this Christmas season kick-off party for years now, and generally I show up with a steaming pot of lentil soup with Polish kielbasa. Generally, I’m dressed to the nines – well, maybe the sevens. My one seasonal holiday outfit – green velveteen pants and pullover with a festive trim. This year I went in gray sweat pants, my “Winter is Coming” tee, and the festive touch of a red corduroy shirt from L.L. Bean. It had been a long day, but I had to go.
It was my last Soup Party. Read more about The Long Goodbye
The last day of autumn. The beginning of winter.
Almost nothing I say irritates my daughter so much as my insistence that November 1 is actually the first day of winter. But I’m not the first or the only one to believe so.
The first clue is the traditional name given to the date our calendars say is the first day of winter – December 21st – Midwinter. Read more about Happy Halloween
Atheist though I am, there are times when I look to the heavens and mouth the word “Help!”
What I have trouble doing, however, is saying that to any actual human person.
Which helps me understand the appeal of religion. There are some things you can’t quite bring yourself to confess to another human, but sometimes you just need to talk.
I don’t know if it’s the way I was raised or the books I read, but I have to go through a series of mental gymnastics in order to justify asking anybody else for assistance. Read more about Help!
I’m not a big noticer – I live too much in my head – but one evening when I was idly scratching at what I assume was a spider bite on my right breast, I noticed something. A small lump. Not just a nodule, that felt like any number of other nodules. A lump, with a little length, a little width, and the definite feel of “something there.”
Well, there was something there. “A bad actor,” as one doctor put it, after my diagnostic mammogram. We set up an appointment for a needle biopsy. It was positive. I had cancer. Read more about Cancer! So Annoyed!
I’ve had a checkered history with pets. As a child, I was into dogs. What child doesn’t beg for a puppy? I got a puppy. A shiny little cocker spaniel named Taffy. We were inseparable until I was in junior high. Into the woods, across the fields and creeks, through back yards and alleyways and clambering down into the newly dug holes for new houses – Taffy and I went everywhere together except when I climbed trees, and then she waited for me at the bottom. I still remember the day my dad told me that Taffy had gone “to live on a farm.” By that time, I was more into boys than Taffy. Read more about Pets'n'Me: A Short History
I have little to say about the Orlando massacre aside from the horror and grief that we all feel at such a useless (and is there ever a useful?) loss of life. Aside from a couple of gay friends, one now living far away and the other long dead of AIDS, and some lesbian neighbors of mine, I do not have much interaction with that community in particular. As a matter of fact, I’m on record as having been a little miffed off when the issue of gay marriage popped up on Ohio’s state ballot the year that I hoped we could rout George W. Read more about Gay Inspiration