Wednesday, September 30, 2009

what i'm reading now

A few years ago I read a book called The Clearing by Tim Gautreaux. It was an excellent read. So I was anxious to read another novel by Mr. Gautreaux. The Missing is the best book I've read this year. It's a satisfying read on several levels. First, the dialogue is at times very funny, yet it's a serious story. The reader gets a history lesson about the waning years of the old steam paddlewheel boats that were still traveling up and down the Mississippi River just after WWI. And it's a protrait of human loss and redemption and the need for revenge.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

quote of the day

The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth--persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

--John F. Kennedy

Saturday, September 26, 2009

what i'm reading now

South of Broad is the latest novel by Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides. It is set in Charleston, South Carolina and chronicles the lives and loves of a group of teenagers who met in 1969 and follows their careers and struggles through the maze of marriages, class divisions, and racial strife. The group reunites after twenty years to go to San Francisco to rescue one of their group who is missing and feared dead. I thought the prose to be a bit ornate, but Mr. Conroy is an excellent story teller.

Friday, September 25, 2009


The mornings are cold and foggy now.

Water drips from the eaves.

There's gold and russet colors now

Showing up in the leaves.

Summer's no longer a bully.

Autumn's a gentler friend.

She'll give us Indian summer

And delay the winter wind.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

what i'm reading now

Liars and Saints, a book by Maile Meloy about four generations of the Santerre family from the 1940's to the new millenium. A Catholic family growing up in Hermosa Beach, CA are drawn apart and pulled together by the secrets kept from each other and the heartaches caused by those secrets. It is written in sparse but compelling prose. It's an easy story to read, but well worth the reading.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

quote of the day

"We cannot allow the thirst for reckless schemes that produce quick profits and fat executive bonuses to override the security of our entire financial system and leave taxpayers on the hook for cleaning up the mess."

--President Barack Obama

Monday, September 14, 2009

quote of the day

Conservative, n: A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal who wishes to replace them with others.

--Ambrose Bierce

late summer

You know the summer is about to exit when the liriopes produce their purple blooms. This one looks good beside a pink impatiens. I've been planting the bulbs and rhizomes that we dug up around the yard. Next spring we'll have a new look.

game night

It was time to have a game night. That usually means something good to eat. This time it's tacos.

A pot of beans on the back burner, chorizo on the left and ground beef on the right. Our joints won't squeak tomorrow after eating all this grease.

Jenna, Blake, Marley, Sam play "Apples to Apples"

Sam, Burk, Kelly

Marley rolls the dice in "Cat-opoly"

Jenna ponders her decision to buy a cat property

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

I am ashamed of us

Yesterday, President Obama gave an address to all school children. In his speech he encouraged students to work hard and study to make America a better nation. Many parents and some schools refused to allow the kids to be exposed to such socialistic doctrine. My God, we have become a nation of stupid people.

p.s. My dear readers. Not all twitters that tweet nor bloggers that blog are telling you the truth. Use your noggin.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

bulbs and beagles

The grand kids came down to spend the night and I put them to work helping me dig up day lillies and daffodil bulbs. They did a good job until they heard the distant bawl of my neighbor's beagles. We walked up to the highway and could see about seven hounds down the road. The kids called out to them and they came running.

Only three of them made it all the way to our house without being side tracked by some delectable scent. They greeted the kids with white flag tails waving and enthusiastic hound yodeling. I could only catch two at a time with the camera. Lizzie makes sure they behave themselves while they're here.

Friday, September 04, 2009

end of summer

  • It's a full moon. I found that out when its light shone through my bedroom window at 4:00 a.m. this morning and woke me up.
  • The summer is spent. Fall has not arrived yet but summer has walked off the job like a recalcitrant employee; like a runner who, lacking the heart to finish the race, just walks away. We have plants loaded with tomatoes, but they are slow to ripen without hot days and warm nights. The mornings are crispy cold and the afternoons are warm with a cool breeze, perfect for sitting under the tree but inadequate for gardening. I think I'll go outside and dig up some Day Lillies, divide them, and replant them for next spring. Maybe after winter the sun will come back with renewed vigor determined to redeem itself. I've done that after a failure, haven't you?
  • I've been reading Pat Conroy's new book South of Broad, but I put it away for awhile because in the space of two days I received Newsweek, Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, and the Sun, so I'm catching up on my magazine reading before I continue the novel.
  • As I peek through the blinds I notice the moon is gone, but the sun is beginning to light the sky. I think I'll put on a pot of coffee.