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November 2009
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Posts from December 2009

I simply leave this mark of blue


What a delight to knit with a yarn that changes colors and forms a kind of rhythm as you knit — I disregarded the pattern and kept knitting until I ran out of yarn to form a big collar; and what fun to finish a sweater in time to wear it for Christmas Eve / New Jersey / Dec. 2009

“Assuming I am a pleasant companion
with rhythm and a voice
and I depart

my hands having been
placed upon your
my fingerprints
upon your glass.

I simply leave this mark of blue

blue print.”

~ Blue Print by New Jersey poet Yictove (former host of the New York City Knitting Factory Series; his given name was Eugene Melvin Turk; his adopted name "Yictove" means "He will write")

Dear Readers: I hope I have been a pleasant companion this past year as I struggle to find my rhythm and voice. Thank you for stopping to place your hands and eyes upon my wall. With love and wishes for delightful new rhythms in the new year, Jelisava

Friends and relations send salutations

Gingercookies The antidote to sad and cold: Aunt Bee's Ginger Cookies warmed my heart, inspired a Christmas Eve song, and were declared the best ginger cookies ever / New Jersey / Dec. 2009

Some sort of random electrical impulses have been flying around me. Clocks that automatically reset themselves. Light bulbs that turn on and off at will. Off then on. On then off. The car clock keeps resetting itself to 12:00. Then the oven clock resets to 12:00. Inside I feel sad and cold. A short-circuit somewhere inside me. Like I need a jolt. A jump. And then this morning a dead car battery. My cheerful rescuer cleaned the terminals and jumped the battery all while singing Bells Will be Ringing. Now the car has a new battery and somehow my heart feels a little better, too, not fully charged, but not resetting to 12:00 either.

The tender breeze of storms

Bridge_ice_pPaulo visits the river where the frigid wind has whipped the water onto the banks, creating icy sculptures / Delaware River and Tacony Bridge from the Jersey side / Dec. 2009

   they set the sails of their
the seas
   looked surprised
       as they stared into the tender breeze of storms

~ Gods Small Beings (08) by Iranian poet Robab Moheb


Bunks_eggnog Bunk's recipe for Christmas (or anytime) Egg Nog / New Jersey / Dec. 2009

“Some of the passengers comforted themselves with a glass of egg-nog, ...”

~ from Travels Through Part of the United States and Canada in 1818 and 1819 by John M. Duncan

Duncan footnotes the word egg-nog and provides this description: A compound of milk, raw eggs, spirits and sugar, violently agitated by a stirrer which is twirled round between the hands. In the instance referred to, one of the passengers after turning off his tumbler, and smacking his mouth, insisted that it had been made with raw sugar; this the tavern-keeper stoutly denied, and as we afterwards discovered with truth, for he had no sugar of any kind in the house and had substituted molasses.

Solstice morning

Solsticemorning The solstice morning sun rising in the east over a snow-covered landscape / New Jersey / Dec. 21, 2009

"And then there is one particular tree, a tree that I always see because it is the northernmost one... It has multiple trunks all braided and buttressed, and roots that snake out over the ground as widely as it branches snake out into the air. ... At the risk of being spotted as hopelessly eccentric, I always stop for a moment and touch the course-grained, gray bark of it with my hand, or sometimes with my cheek, which I suppose is a way of blessing it for being so strong and beautiful. ...on one particular morning I found myself touching it not to bless it for once, but to ask for its blessing, so that I myself might move toward old age and death with something like its stunning grace and courage."

~ Frederick Buechner (from The Secret in the Dark)

Still life

FabricandglueStill life in mid-morning sun (flower pot soaked in glue and fabric scraps) / New Jersey / Dec. 2009

“Life batters and shapes us in all sorts of ways before it's done, but those original selves which we were born with and which I believe we continue in some measure to be, no matter what, are selves which still echo with the holiness of their origin. I believe that what Genesis suggests is that this original self, with the print of God's thumb still upon it, is the most essential part of who we are and is buried deep in all of us as a source of wisdom and strength and healing which we can draw upon or, with our terrible freedom, not draw upon as we choose. I think that among other things all real art comes from that deepest self — painting, writing, music, dance, all of it that in some way nourishes the spirit and enriches the understanding. I think that our truest prayers that can rise out of the lives of unbelievers as well as believers whether they recognize prayers or not. And I think that from there also come our best dreams and our times of gladdest playing and taking it easy and all those moments when we find ourselves being better or stronger or braver or wiser than we are.”

~ Frederick Buechner (and thanks to Mitza for giving me this bit of wisdom to read)


Ransomnote Am I obsessing? Yes I am. I'm so angry that I don't know what else to do / New Jersey / Dec. 2009


This is my new monthly health insurance premium rate for an HMO with a $30 co-pay. Twice before the rate has gone over $600 and I've been able to get it down by switching plans. This time it looks like there is no place left to go. Oh, wait, there is the plan that my insurance company is trying to hard-sell me. The one they advertised on their web site as "one step up from being uninsured" (this after the thousands of dollars I've paid them over the past 15 years). The one that cuts off payments to doctors after $700 (maybe Senator Lieberman would be interested in that plan). Thanks for that Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield. Thanks a lot.

* It would have been $690.33, but, by law, the company is not allowed to raise the premium for renewals by more than 15% in a single year.

A colorless world

Ignoranceandarrogance Fenced in by so-called "health-care providers" and abandoned by the people elected and entrusted with our care / New Jersey / Oct. 2009

“To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.”

~ Mark Twain

“To succeed in not passing a real health-care bill, you need two things: ignorance and arrogance.”

~ Me (after a go-round with my so-called health-care provider about my new, higher 2010 premium rate that raised my blood pressure, had me screaming and cursing at their automated answering system, and reduced me to tears)

A simple tool used to flatten dough

Rollingpin Oh, rolling pin, my rolling pin / Dec. 2009

I'd forgotten what fun it is to use a rolling pin and to work with dough. That distinctive sound of the wood and the ball bearings in the handles. Thump, clickidty, clickidty. Thump, clickidty, clickidty. A memory from childhood. It had been so long since I'd used my rolling pin that I had to root repeatedly through the cabinet until I uncovered it buried way in the back. Flour the board, flour the pin, squish the dough down and roll it out. Cut the shapes. Re-use the scraps. It went by too fast. I'm already planning what to make next. Ginger cookies, I think. Aunt Bee's recipe says to roll them very thin...