Archive for October, 2012

“She slowly and silently looks up at me as though I’ve got three heads, one of which is speaking Mandarin, another Swahili and the third vomiting blood.”

October 31, 2012 @ 7:53 am | Filed under:

Julianna Baggott has a set of interview questions for writers (I’ve owed her my answers for a while now), and one of them is: “What’s your advice to a writer who’s looking for a lifelong partner?”

Easy: Find someone like this.

Hurricane Sandy Links

October 29, 2012 @ 8:07 am | Filed under:

Rounding up links I’m watching today:

Severe NJ Weather (Facebook page, lots of current photos)

NPR Hurricane Sandy breaking news, frequent updates

Storify: Live Hurricane Updates

Google maps, hurricane edition

New York Times, Hurricane Sandy: View From Above (photo from 51st floor of NYT building, updated every few minutes)

Twitter feeds: @ScottBeale, @Lock (Lockhart Steele, lots of photos)

UPDATED: Live Webcams of Areas Affected by Hurricane Sandy

Feel free to share your own. Hope you weather this well, East Coast friends…

Late-October Garden Notes

October 28, 2012 @ 1:27 pm | Filed under:

Trying to work this afternoon, but it’s hard not to stay glued to the hurricane feeds. Hope you weather it well, all my East Coast friends…

Rilla and I did a lot of garden work this week: cleared bermuda grass out of the butterfly garden, planted some freesia bulbs I’d forgotten about. We have our sunflower seeds ready to sow, maybe this evening. Oh, and it’s pansy weather…almost. Midday sun still a bit harsh.

Time to start thinking of sowing our winter greens. The seasons are upside-down here; six years and I’m still not used to it.

In bloom: Mexican bush sage (salvia leucantha), cleome (one last floweret left), geraniums (always), gazania, red salvia, blue plumbago, lantana, milkweed, lavender, and chrysanthemums—pink and white. Oh, and the cape honeysuckle, beloved of hummingbirds. And sweet alyssum everywhere.

The nasturtiums are starting to reappear: leaves only, no buds yet, but they move fast.

Lots of roses around the neighborhood; a single giant flower on ours.

Something is eating up the lamb’s-ear.

Our big nature sighting of the week was a gulf fritillary caterpillar on the passionflower vine! We had to rush off to dance class, though, and he was gone when we returned. Big guy, probably pupating by now.

Alarming photos starting to roll in from New Jersey. Stay safe, friends…


October 26, 2012 @ 9:32 am | Filed under: , ,

Looking at this serene child enjoying her lunch while gazing upon the butterfly garden, you’d hardly believe she’s the same creature who made herself a hunting license last night—that is, a license for hunting her baby brother.


At the bottom, next to her signature, a blank marked “GOV” (for governor?), which she very nearly got her Daddy to sign. Fortunately, he read the block print. And saw the Nerf gun behind her back, and the bloodlust in her eye.

Seven Octobers

October 24, 2012 @ 7:00 pm | Filed under: , , ,

Poking through my October archives, I found:

(2005) Some of Jane’s favorite things when she was ten. Math for Smarty Pants, Mark Kistler’s Draw Squad, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.

(2006) Our big westward move and arrival in California. More time than money.

In another post about our trip, I found this (which I’d never have remembered, so if you wonder why I blog, here’s why):

I forgot the best part of yesterday’s morning repast. The food was in the hotel lobby, the tables in a small adjoining room. I filled Beanie’s plate and told her to go find a place for us to sit. When I entered the dining room with my own full plate, I was surprised to spot Bean chowing down at a table occupied by a large party of senior citizens. Everyone at EVERY table was grinning with amusement at our happy Bean and her hard-boiled egg.

“Oh!” I cried. I had to laugh. “I told her to find a seat. Guess I didn’t specify AT AN EMPTY TABLE!”

(2007) A Rilla story that rather amazes me. (She was so little then!) A post called “Helixes,” which is of my favorite posts that I’ve written. And a surprise appearance by John Stossel.

(2008) Random acts of espionage. Autumn nature photos. A craft project I still haven’t finished.

(2009) Adorable Wonderboy stories. And suddenly Huck is in the picture.

(2010) A poem I wrote. Miss Suzy. Betsy-Tacy. (That was the month I got to visit their houses!) And…just wow. Rilla’s Sculpey solar system. I’d completely forgotten.

Rilla made a solar system’s worth of planets out of Sculpey. Their names, she tells me, are: Mom, Dad, Chocolate, Tinky, Pock, Imi, Marshmallow Yellow, and Beauty of Love.

(2011) We’d planted lettuce and peas in the garden already—guess I’d better get cracking. (I miss those morning glories. Time to replant!) Also: Dump Truck Huck.