Monday, June 29, 2009

Probably Hamburg, Pre-World War One

Hawaii - 1940's

Pixie Poem

Not great poetry, but forgotten poetry.
This is one of many poems and stories that associate Pixies with a place of haunting beauty.

By J. R. Foster [Julie Ollivier]
From: Wild Apples, Boston, 1916

I KNEW at once it was a Pixie's Pool,
And that the wood was an enchanted wood,
It was so quiet. There was not a sound
To break the stillness, and I feared to breathe
Lest all might vanish and my eyes awake
On the familiars of our mortal world.
I said there was no sound yet to the sense
That's hidden there was chiming of faint bells
As if a moon moth's wing had swept the tongues
Of the red columbines that fringed the pool,
Or as of elfin laughter echoing far
Within the trumpet stalks melting to air
Upon the fragrance of their balmy breath.

I laid me down upon the sere brown leaves,
Pierced by the spurring pale green shoots of spring,
And watched the shadows pass within the pool,
The flying clouds the happy swift winged birds.
Then from the silence spoke a Spirit voice:
This is the mirror of Love's Faeryland
Where dreams awake from out their life long sleep.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pixie Cave

"Chudleigh Rock about half a mile from the town is one of the most imposing in the island viewed from the west it exhibits a broad bold and almost perpendicular front apparently one solid mass of marble from the south east a hollow opens to tlie view with an impetuous stream rushing over the rude stones which foams and whirls its eddies all around From the highest part of the rock the scenery is coih Eosed of fine hangmg woods and in some places the ranches of the oak form a canopy for the contemplative spectator Mid way down the cliff is a large cavern the gloomy recesses of which according to the tradition of the country people are inhabited by pixies or fairies The entrance to this cavern is by an arch ten feet high and twelve wide For the space of twenty yards the passage is the same when it suddenly diminishes to about half the size and continues decreasing nbout fifteen yards farther when it expands into a spacious chamber which divides itself into two parts and runs off in different directions neither of which can be traced far owing to the dropping of the rock It is reported that a dog put into one of them came out at Bolter rock about three miles distant."--G. A. Cook, Topographical and Statistical Descripton of the County of Devon, 1817, page 234.

"Until within these few years this cave was an object of terror and avoided as the haunt of Pixies whose gambols have been distinctly heard and narrated by the country people and visitors and even now such as have the hardihood to enter first propitiate the genii of the cave with an offering of a pin which is solemnly inserted in a projecting stalactite half way inside which when I recently visited the cavern was studded over and bristling with pins It is called the Pixies pincushion The omission of this rite is said to be followed by nocturnal visits from the angry spirits"--J. MacEnery, Cavern Researches, Or Discoveries of Organic Remains and of British and Romans Reliques in the Caves of Hose, Anstis, Cove, Cudleigh, and Berry Head, 1859, page 74.

Very interesting site. you should visit it.

Songs of the Pixies - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

1.Whom the untaught Shepherds call
PIXIES in their madrigal,
Fancy’s children, here we dwell:
Welcome, LADIES! to our cell.
Here the wren of softest note
Builds its nest and warbles well;
Here the blackbird strains his throat;
Welcome, LADIES! to our cell.
2.When fades the moon to shadowy-pale,And scuds the cloud before the gale,
Ere the Morn all gem-bedightHath streak’d the East with rosy light,We sip the furze-flower’s fragrant dewsClad in robes of rainbow hues;Or sport amid the shooting gleamsTo the tune of distant-tinkling teams,While lusty Labour scouting sorrowBids the Dame a glad good-morrow,
Who jogs the accustom’d road along,And paces cheery to her cheering song.
3. But not our filmy pinion
We scorch amid the blaze of day,When NOONTIDE’s fiery-tressed Minion
Flashes the fervid ray.
Aye from the sultry heat
We to the cave retreat
O’er canopied by huge roots intertwin’dWith wildest texture, blacken’d o’er with age:
Round them their mantle green the ivies bind,
Beneath whose foliage pale
Fann’d by the unfrequent gale
We shield us from the Tyrant’s mid-day rage.
4. Thither, while the murmuring throng
Of wild-bees hum their drowsy song,
By Indolence and Fancy brought,
A youthful BARD, "unknown to Fame,"
Wooes the Queen of solemn Thought,
And heaves the gentle mis'ry of a Sigh
Gazing with tearful eye,
As round our sandy grot appear
Many a rudely-sculptur’d name
To pensive MEM'RY dear!
Weaving gay dreams of sunny-tinctur’d hue,
We glance before his view:
O’er his hush’d soul our soothing Witch'ries shedAnd twine the future garland round his head.
5. When EVENING’s dusky Car
Crown’d with her dewy Star
Steals o’er the fading sky in shadowy flight;
On leaves of aspen trees
We tremble to the breeze
Veil’d from the grosser ken of mortal sight.
Or, haply, at the visionary hour,
Along our wildly-bower’d sequester’d walkWe listen to the enamour’d Rustic’s Talk;Heave with the heavings of the Maiden’s BreastWhere young-eyed LOVES have hid their turtle nest,
Or guide of soul-subduing Power
Th' electric Flash, that from the melting EyeDarts the fond Question and the soft Reply:
6. Or thro' the mystic ringlets of the vale
We flash our faery feet in gamesome prank;
Or, silent-sandal’d, pay our defter Court,
Circling the SPIRIT of the WESTERN GALE,
Where wearied with his flower-caressing sport,
Supine he slumbers on a violet bank;
Then with quaint music hymn the parting gleamBy lonely OTTER’s sleep-persuading stream;
Or where his wave with loud unquiet songDash’d o’er the rocky channel froths along;Or where, his silver waters smooth’d to rest,The tall tree’s shadow sleeps upon his breast.
7. Hence! thou Lingerer, Light!
EVE saddens into NIGHT.
Mother of wildly-working dreams! we view
The SOMBRE HOURS, that round thee stand
With down-cast eyes, a duteous Band,
Their dark robes dripping with the heavy Dew.
SORC'RESS of the ebon Throne!
Thy power the PIXIES own,
When round thy raven Brow
Heaven’s lucent roses glow,
And clouds in watery colours drest
Float in light Drapery o’er thy sable vest:What time the pale moon sheds a softer dayMellowing the woods beneath its pensive beam:For mid the quiv'ring Light tis ours to play,Aye-dancing to the cadence of the stream.
8. Welcome, LADIES! to the cell
Where the blameless PIXIES dwell:
But thou, Sweet Nymph! proclaim’d our Faery Queen—
With what obeisance meet
Thy presence shall we greet?
For lo! attendant on thy steps are seen
Graceful EASE in artless stole,
And white-rob'd PURITY of Soul,
With HONOR’s softer mien:
MIRTH of the loosely-flowing Hair,
And meek-ey'd PITY eloquently fair,
Whose tearful cheeks are lovely to the view,
As snow-drop wet with dew.

9. Unboastful Maid! tho' now the Lily pale
Transparent grace thy beauties meek;
Yet ere again along the impurpled Vale
And elfin-haunted Grove
Young Zephyr his fresh flowrets strews,
We’ll tinge with livelier hues thy cheek,
And haply from the nectar-breathing Rose
Extract a BLUSH for LOVE!

About 1912 ... probably in London or New York

This isn't supposed to be there ...

But it is ...

This is a flawed version of Pixie Warrior that slipped throught the cracks. It's not available because it's being repaired ... but as often happens on the web, things persist that have been "deleted."

So if you want to hear a sample from the flawed version, essentially a practice version .... go here:
Link has been removed.
Click "Listen"

Friday, June 26, 2009

We don't all look exactly alike, but we all have pretty much the same attitude ...

Pixies hiding their wings!

Oh ... the things one finds when looking for other things ...

A euphamism from the 1930's: "Kiss the baby in the boat."

"Did you ever kiss the baby in the boat, Jesse?"
"Did I ever what?" -- Confessions of an English Maid, printed privately, London, 1937.

Such a naughty book. ...

Standards, My Child, Research

I mourn the death of standards. The Book of Judges tells the tale of pre-kingdom Israel. A reoccurring theme is that each did as they wished, doing “what was good in their own eyes.” The point, of course, is that they should have turned to the Law for guidance. Then God would have blessed them.

I believe in divine law, but this post isn’t about that. It’s about good sense. It is possible to have good sense without even knowing Divine Law. So the street pagans who plague the eastern part of our fair city are without excuse.

The problem is that people doubt the reality of consequences. Many believe consequences happen to others, not to them. This is silly. Every act has a consequence, big or small, near in time or far off. So the little gangsters who feel that being street pagans makes them larger than they really are deceive themselves.

A case in point is a man who works for us. I’ll call him Norman though his real name is Don. I mean it would be impolite to tell you what his real name is, wouldn’t it? Anyway, Norman is an ex-gangster. He belonged to one of the lesser Hispanic gangs. He has the gang tattoos on his fingers. They were made with an ink pen and some viciousness. I’m sure receiving them made him feel manly. He did what gangsters do. Now, in his forties. He cleans floors and toilets, which is good, honest and hard work.

He hasn’t fully escaped the belief one's choices have no consequences. He ignores some rules, and this leads him into situations where he becomes mildly uncomfortable and a little resentful. He may never learn that what we choose to believe and what we do affects our life. I’d like to say, “Think, man! What will happen if you do this?” I have said that, though not so bluntly.

People put having a good time in front of having good sense. “Didn’t we have fun?” is a more important question than is “Didn’t we do right?”.


Now I got that off my rather cute little chest, let me tell you about Arpita. She’s one of our children. She was born in India and came to us when she was four months old. She is tall, very attractive, smart. She thinks she’s fat. She’s not, but she thinks she is.

I can’t begin to tell you how proud she makes me. Because of her very difficult entry into the world, she has some learning disabilities. One of my other daughters accomplishes things with relative ease. I’m proud of her too. But what Arpita gains she gains through sweat and adaptation. She probably gets an inordinate amount of attention. I tend to focus on the child in greatest need, and often that’s she.

She came alive this year. Socialization problems have dissolved. She won two school awards for science. She cried and suffered through biology, but she won certificates for the quality and imagination behind her projects and she won the school’s Thomas Edison Award for remarkable achievement in a science class.

I wish more people read my blog, not that I really have anything special to say. I just like the attention …. The person from Denver still drops by without leaving a comment. Stop a bit and say, “hi.”


I turned chapter five of the history book I’m co-writing into three chapters last night. You can tell it got out of hand, right? I’m rewriting bits of it today as I have time. Otherwise I’m sitting here and avoiding cleaning house.

Recent research has given me a definitive explanation for a sectarian division that developed in one of the small millennialist sects back in the mid to late 1880’s. Oh, surely that’s not important to you, but it is to me. I’ll write that into what is now chapter five sometime later today.

Dancing Girls - India c. 1870

India - 1903 at Coronation Celebration

India - c. 1885

The Boy - c. 1885

En Pointe - Undated

Thursday, June 25, 2009

pixie led 2

Pixie Led

Pixies are mischievous, but not unkind unless you provoke them by bad behavior. Consider the milk-maid who lived at Sheeps Tor back when I was young. Many of those living there way back then were of Pixie kind. They were descendants of Pixies through their sons. Pixie sons don’t usually pixify. They look just like you, assuming you’re a more or less normal human male.

The parson’s milk-maid was not native to Devon, certainly not native to Dartmoor, and not at all related to Pixies. She was slothful and slovenly and rude. We tend not to like any one of those qualities, and when found in one person they tend to draw our attention. But we do try to be tolerant. Not everyone can be a Pixie, and not everyone has our values. But tolerance has limits. She passed them.

The parson wasn’t of Pixie sort either, but out of deference for local practice he left out milk and bits of food for us at night. It was good food too. Of course it was, because his housekeeper is my fifth cousin, and she could really cook solid English meals. She is the one who encouraged him to leave the bowl of milk and the choice morsels.

When his offerings disappeared into our tummies, he first thought the villagers were playing tricks on him. He stayed up late to watch the table, and we stood next to him well blended and hidden from his eye, trying not to giggle and waiting for sleep to fill his eyes. Then we’d drink his milk and eat the food. One of my Pixie cousins took to kissing his cheek in thanks, but that’s another story. I’ll not tell it now; besides everyone knows you can only kiss a man’s cheek so often before you want to kiss other bits of him. My cousin and the parson make pretty pixie babies.

So, back to my story: The milk-maid was hired away from a stable in Plymouth, which isn’t all that far from Sheeps Tor. She was such an unclean thing, slatternly in both senses of the word. She did not keep her bucket rinsed, and she did not tend the cow’s udder. Her straw was not raked. This meant that our milk was fouled. This is not excusable.

I watched her carefully. I saw her disregard for simple good dairy practice. Even in the 1730’s most milk-maids knew the importance of a clean pail and a clean churn. What to do about her slovenly neglect became the topic of debate. My cousin, who was falling in love with the parson, wanted to take her off to Pembroke and sell her to the fairies. Of course, we didn’t do that. We never do that, and she wasn’t all that serious anyway.

I pinched her butt. When ever she was neglectful, I just reached over and pinched that sweaty none-too-clean thing. Because we are hard to see when we wish to be, she thought the goblins were haunting her. The parson, sensible man that he was, told her there were no goblins. So she suspected witchcraft.

Now every pixie knows that witches are pretenders. Magic of the sort they lay claim to is a myth. It doesn’t exist. But back then witches were still hunted, and her talk caused concern in neighboring villages. The Bishop of Plymouth sent someone to see if the reports of witchcraft had substance. He left satisfied that the slattern was mad and that there were no witches in Sheeps Tor, this despite the milk-maids desire to show him the bruises on her butt. He, of course, politely declined the offer.
She slept in the stable loft, not uncommon among folk of her sort back then. This led to the final (shall we say decisive?) punishment.

I observed that she found mice hateful creatures. That is unfair. They have very poor hygiene and are scatter-brained, but they’re not hateful. (True they tend to complain about their lot in life, being very discontent creatures. But they’re still not hateful.) So, having observed this, I spent a good hour in conversation with the eldest of the mice. You have to placate them and cater to their sensibilities, you know. So it takes a while to convince them to do anything. But I finally convinced them that it was fitting that they pay a late night social call on the wench in the loft.

The result was very gratifying. She woke to twenty or so mice crawling over her body and face. Her scream must have been heard clear to Land’s End! She was gone by morning, and no one seemed to care what her destination was.

Pixies know how to milk a cow. We took turns doing that for a while, until a new milk maid was found. It was the milking that finally convinced the parson that we just might be real. Other things finally assured him that suspicion was correct.

We never abuse humans just to abuse them. All those claims of being Pixie Led and such come from tipsy tradesmen and mindless peasants. We don’t do that – unless you are neglectful.

I still want that bathtub and you're still looking at the wrong thing ...

From Alfred Johnson's Enchanting Beauty, 1937

Durban, uncertain date, maybe 1925 or so

Strong Willed ... Runs in the family ...

About 1910, I think.

What if ... And I guess not ...

Well, I guess my “what if” game wasn't such a hot idea. No one played. I'll pout for a while.

Few people read this blog anyway, and I think those who do, read it to be polite. Polite is nice. Don't get me wrong. I appreciate all my readers, except the foul fool from Korea who left the rude comment. ... I'm sure I lack appreciate for her and her point of view.

I need help moving things out of the room I'm redoing, but my mate is off in the wilds of Tacoma today and until Monday. I'm still working in there, but I some pieces of furniture need to go to the Goodwill. They're too big for me to move.

You have no idea how hard this is. It's not just the cleaning, unpacking, sorting, and deciding which things to keep and which to discard. It's looking at things that meant something to my mom or grandmother. I miss them both. It makes me sad to see things they saved.

I found two lead crystal bowls that belonged to mom today. I'll put them in one of the cabinets, I think. I found a box of small odds and ends. I have no clue what I'll do with them all. Mom made display boxes filled with small things. A few of these things are really nice. I suppose I'll keep them. Some are just little oddments. They should go. I just have a very hard time discarding these things. That's how these rooms came to be filled with junk in the first place. It is past time to reclaim them.

What if ... part 3

Same rules as previously ...

Dirty socks on the floor? Tiolet lid up? Snoring? Which is the worst fault?

What if your life depended on finding three commonalities between a paper clip, a horse shoe and a dirty diaper? What would you say?

Of all the Kings of England that ever lived, which would you marry?

[humm … John Lackland because he was good in bed if in no other way … ::giggle::
Philippa … (Yes, I know I’m not a guy, but I can pretend, can’t I?) … because she was kind and good and smart and pretty … or Isabella d’Angoulême … because she was the reason John was good in bed, and she had my temprement … Bad, Pixie. Bad!)]

Outies are not sexy. True or False.

A good book, an hour of good sex, chocolate. Quickly put these in order of precedence …

(Can’t I have them all at once? No, dear, it’s rude to read while having sex, not to say difficult.)

You have to be someone else for a week. Who is it to be?

You have to be something else for a week. What is it to be?

There are lots of things you’d probably never have sex with, right? So what tops the list of the “no, never with that” stuff?

[For me? Probably anything that has scales and hisses.]

What upsets you the most? A hole in your socks? A whiny child? Any moron of your acquaintance?

If you could have any super power – just one – what would it be?

List your three favorite paraphilias.

What was the first “naughty book” you read?

Is it socially acceptable to say that J. R. R. Tolkein isn’t entertaining but C. S. Lewis is? And that Lord Dunsany was a better writer than both of them?

What if you must become a character in one of the Oz books … What sort of character would you be?

Was Jinjur simply misunderstood?

The ground where they died remains sterile to this day. Explain that sentence.

Cowboy or Indian? Painter or Writer? Princess or Whore? Thief or Slave?

If you had to live in Colonial America say about 1750, you would have been what?

You are like what famous painting?

Have you ever posed nude? Would you?

If your face were to appear on money – what denominations would you prefer?

Men with beards are all perverts. Yes or No.

[1. All men are perverts or wish to be perverts. 2. Men with beards are still men. 3. All men with beards are perverts. … That reasoning seems flawless.]

Have you ever tried to breathe underwater? What in heck ever possessed you to do that?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Algeria and North Africa, about 1910

Post Cards of the Era

What if ... Part 2

Same rules as for part 1. See below.

Most of us have a series of ill considered but firmly held beliefs. Some of them are precious to us. What if the most precious of your beliefs was shaken; what would you do?

Each society, each individual, sees bits of the human body differently. While you may enjoy a well turned ankle, find a cute set of toes irresistible and get in a sweat over cute shoes, your neighbor may see feet as disreputable. Some see showing the sole of a shoe as disrespectful. What if you and you alone knew the true cause of this diversity? What if you had to eliminate one or the other of these views. Which would you retain?

(Me? I like cute shoes. So guess …)

God decrees that as punishment for an indiscretion you must change species for a day. You may choose the species. You have one minute to decide which to choose. Your answer is?

You visit the library once a week. You discover that the reference librarian is really a retired goddess. Before she retired she was the goddess of what?

You are out of work. You find a web site: This add catches your eye: “WANTED – Temp – six months duration. Goddess of Thunder, fertility and dance. Light duty except on feast days. No experience needed. On call twenty-four hours. Contract may be extended depending on grant extension. Clothing allowance extends to one set of gauzy robes and sandals.” Would you apply? What if it said, “Male applicants must expect a temporary sex-change. Fully reversible. Mostly painless”?

So how often in a day do you contemplate your belly button? Do you even think about it unless it itches or has lint?

What if your life depended on the turn of a card? Would you say, ‘High’ or ‘Low’?

You know your work mate is an idiot of the first water, but their idiocy doesn’t effect your work-product. Would you [a] merely be irritated and occasionally rude? [b] Scold them for the idiocy? [c] Dance the Dance of Cursings and Doom while chanting his name? or [d] Shoot them? Oh, there’s an [e] too. Would you move things on his desk, insisting that nothing has changed ans suggest that he seek counseling?

It is a sad fact of life that not all Scotsmen have cute butts. Do you find this tragic?

If you absolutely had to go back in time to meet a fiend from the past, which of the following would it be: 1. Donatien Alphonse François de Sade? 2. Hitler? 3. Stalin? 4. Gilles de Rais?

With what percentage of certainty do you believe you have the blood of Mongol Invaders somewhere in your past?

What if this were an age and culture where arranged marriages were the norm? You have a daughter to marry off. How would you go about finding her a suitable husband?

If you saw Alice go down the Rabbit Hole, would you follow her?

What if you would certainly die if you did not ‘sin.’ Which sin would you commit? Would you choose to die? [Example: “What the Hell are you doing? (swearing) Find your own goat! (bad, bad).]

If the law allowed, would you have more than one mate? (Does he do laundry?)

Water? Beer? Mountain Dew? Coffee? Pick one.

What if you had to write a new version of the Ten Commandments? What would you include?

What is the ultimate basis for your personal morality?

Starship Captain? Train Driver? High priced whore? You must be one of these for a day. Which is it to be? [Beam me up Scotty!]

What if - Part 1

The rules: Read the what-ifs. Pick five or more on which to comment. Post your reply.

Okay, okay, so comment on one of them ....

What if Sherlock Holmes became Dr. Moriarty’s apprentice?

What if it was really Holmes and not Moriarty that died at Rickenbach Falls? What if through artful disguise Moriarty took Homes’ place?

What if Jack the Ripper were really Jane the Ripper?

What if one of those who died in the Nevada Desert Facility lived to tell the tale? Where would we be then?

What if there were a genetically neutral species that could reproduce with anything? What would its offspring look like?

What if the reason no one visits the play lot is that it’s really in another world and only touches our own? What if the locals realize this instinctively, but visitors do not?

Would sparrows kill a crow at a pixie’s command?

What if there were two sorts of dreams? Say that dreams in which one sees herself are just dreams, but dreams where we look out our own eyes as we do when awake are a reality – a reality from some where or some time. They may be confused and full of symbolism, but they are at least a remembered reality. What would the world be like if this was so and a growing number of people realized it?

What if there are not an infinite number of universes, nor a multitude of possibilities?

What if a great hidden truth of Zoology is that there really are satyrs, unicorns, wood nymphs and similar creatures? (I’m fairly certain I married a satyr.)

What if gold fish could talk?

Your one-person space cruiser crashed on a planet with no human life. You cannot contact Star Base 6 or anyone else. Your new home has its hazards, but the environment seems fair. There are three species that resemble earth species but with an intelligence that at least approaches your own, maybe even surpasses it.

There is a friendly, even amorous, goat-like creature, one that looks a lot like a chimpanzee but with longer legs, and one that looks like a white tail deer. The deer has the bad habit of licking your face when you’re asleep. They all befriend you. You learn to “talk” in each species’ “language” in at least a rudimentary fashion.

In time you accept that you are there for life. You are comfortable in the creatures’ society. They accept you. Would you seek a mate among them? If so from which species would you seek a mate? Do you see a moral issue? How would you resolve it?

What if earth is a forgotten prison planet and we all descend from criminals of the worst sort? What if there are others here we do not see but who are reflected in myth and folk belief – say, for instance, that ghosts are energy beings of indeterminate, nearly immortal life span. Say they’re the original prisoners of their species and seek to control human society. You and a few others know this. Everyone who believes this is seen as a crack-pot conspiracy theorist. What would you do?

What if you’d been hypnotically conditioned and used to execute everyone in the Nevada facility back in the 1980’s? What if the reality of it seeps into your dreams and waking life twenty years later? What if you are more and more convinced that what you dream is reality. What would you do?

What if you write a blog post about your disturbing dreams, and what if afterward you’re certain you’re being followed, watched, observed? Would you seek counseling? Run? Watch those watching?

What if your life is a looped version of the old Twilight Zone?

What if you discovered that your body was slowly changing? I mean in an extraordinary way. Say, your bath towel catches on something and on inspection you find you’re growing a rather cute little furry tail. Would you run off to the doctor? Hide it? What?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Philippeville, Algeria - 1914

In France, April 1914

Louise d’Orléans - 1903


After her marriage she took the name Maria Feodorovna Romanov.

When Boys Wore Skirts ...

The Princesses Margareta, Marta, and Astrid. Prince Carl – He’s on the toy dog, silly.
Sweden. Undated.

Wallula Gap

The Columbia River flows through a dramatic, mile-wide gap in the basaltic shelf down River from the Tri-Cities. These are arid lands, but the semi-desert has beauty all its own.

The black and white photo is from the late 1930's and shows the old highway and a basalt pinnacle.

The more recent color photo is from here:

You should visit the blog from which I stole the photo. You'll see more photos and learn something of the massive flooding that sculpted major portions of the North West in distant geologic time.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Probably Ecuador. About 1922.

Egypt, c. 1880

Mother and Child

Sometimes I Find Amazing Things ....

I've written previously about shopping in the Goodwill and other thrift stores. I buy many of my books there. I couldn't afford to feed my book habit otherwise.

Yesterday, on the way to work, I stopped at the nearest Goodwill. I bought two books. One was a fantasy novel from the 1970's. I read bits of it at work. Well done. I like it. The other is a book of poems by P. C. Hayes entitled War Verse and Other Verse. I read all of this at work. (Other than a bit of excitement early in the night, it was really quiet, especially after two a.m.)

There is a gift inscription on the front end paper. It reads, "To Marjorie Hayes, From Her Grandfather, Philip C. Hayes -- Joliet, Ill., Nov. 26, 1914." The war poems are about the Civil War. Most of them are unexceptional, though with a good edit they would have been better. But they are all full of feeling. You feel the emotion, even if the poetry is usually amateurish.

I puzzled all night over the author's name. It nagged at me, as if I should know who P. C. Hayes was. Philip Cornelius Hayes was a captain in the 103rd Illinois Volunteer Infantry. By war's end he had been brevetted as Brigadier General. It's not everyday one finds an autograph of a Civil War general.

When I get time, I'll copy out the one poem I think better than the others.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Addenda ...

Oh boy, baby! I found lots of things today. After a dead period with my research, I've found an abundance of information about William Brookman, a Canadian clergyman. Lemme see ....

An artice in Prophetc Times of November 1863.

A mention in a booklet published in 1881.

An article in the August 1881 issue or Rainbow.

An article in the December 1889 issue of Words of Reconciliation.

I'm on a roll! or I ate a roll. Or I like Rock and Roll. Or something ...

Get your eyes off her chest and look at the tub.

I want that bathtub!

Yipee! Not Yipee. And so so ...

I located a book I needed for my research. I found a copy in a Canadian library and was getting ready to send for it on interlibrary loan. So ... I was preparing to download the bibliographic information from World Cat (formerly OCLC - Ohio Catalogue of Library Catalogues) and found that the book had been digitalized and was downloadable. So, while I'd love to own the book, I simply downloaded it.

It will change two paragraphs in chapter five of the history book I'm working on. That might not sound like much, but the changes are important. I haven't finished reading the book, so there may be more changes. This may not be exciting to you, but it is to me. I emailed the file to my writing partner. We'll compare notes sometime next week.

I found other things this week too. I found an obituary in a magazine. It added interesting detail to a profile. I found two listings of a periodical in magazine directories, one of which proved who owned the magazine. That question had become something of an issue.

I work tonight, a twelve hour shift. I'm sick. I'll have to work sick. This is not new. I hope it's a calm night free from drama. It will be a strong coffee night, I think. One thing I like about night is being able to walk outside and enjoy a part of the day people seldom see. Do you ever look at the sky? At night? If you doubt there is a creator, the night sky should remove the doubts.

I also like night air. I usually find time to make a walk around outside with one of the security staff. To the south of us and a ways to the north, the neighbourhoods are less than desirable. That those areas have become the haunt of drug addicts and cheap whores makes security an essential here. It also means one sees some interesting things, even is one doesn't want to see them.

I think the thing I like best about my job is being able to watch families interact with each other. I love children. I love my own and enjoy watching them. Our guests' children seem to like me instantly. I've had them come up to me and put out their arms to be held. This is always so surprising.

I take a tablet to work, noting miscellaneous things: bits of dialogue, notes on gestures, observation on life, and if I have time, I add to the story I'm writing.


I got my hair trimmed.

The lawn sprinklers are working now. This is good.

My mate is going to be gone most of next week. This is not good.

I finally got my ice cream. But I'm out of coffee. I'll get some tomorrow. For today I begged my friend Lorena for some. She made a full pot and we gossiped. Nice.

Arpita is still down with allergies. She’s been in bed most of the day and she’s cranky. She's going on a trip next week too. I made sure she has a new inhaler. I'll be nervous the entire time she is gone.

I want to go down to the nature preserve and walk along the river. I think we'll hunt for agates.

I'm pondering the aggressively stupid attitude of a group of gay young men who haunt hotel row. They're close to being banned from more than one place. Before I make that decision, I'd like to understand the mentality. We tolerate a lot here. We are customer oriented. But when you intrude into the pleasure of others, you cross the line. Don’t get me wrong. They can make what decisions they want when it comes to their sexuality. I don’t care, as long as they leave my goats alone. They may not broadcast rudeness into our environment. The same rules exist for all. You may not be an idiot here. Well, you may not be an intrusive idiot.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

London, c. 1877

Girl and Bird

Denver and Such ...

I've been to Denver, though not since I was quite young. It was a fun place to visit. We stayed with friends while my family attended a conference. They lived near what was once a large Catholic orphanage; I forget the name. Later I ran across a magazine article published in the 1940's that reported on an abuse scandal connected with it. I don't remember the details and they're not relevant to this post.

Behind their house was a stream that ran in a narrow ditch. I lay on my stomach fishing out bits of history: broken crockery, an old cork top bottle, bits of rusted iron. I got wet up to my shoulder and a "what if you'd fallen in?" scolding, though it was a mild one. We stopped at a thrift shop, I recall. My mom bought a depression era bowl. I inherited it. It's very pretty.

We came home from that trip with an antique cake plate too. That came to me also. It's lovely. I remember very clearly when we got it and where. We stopped in Loveland to see friends. The woman we stayed with gave it to us. Mom had it in the tall, narrow china cabinet in the dinning room for years.

We had a little dog then. It made the trip with us. She was a well behaved little thing, part toy poodle and part Chihuahua. She looked like a Silky Terrier. When I first got sick, she spent days on my bed. She'd walk up the length of my body and look me in the eye just to make sure I was still breathing. I miss her. She died of old age years ago.

I get an occasional blog hit from Denver. They seem to come from the same person, judging by the IP address. Stop in and say, "Hi, Pixie!" ... Unless your first name is Kristen ... Then you're not welcome here at ALL. And you know why.

Other stuff:

For a break from the room make-over project, I weeded the front garden and pruned a tree. The tree is a flowering Dogwood. It's blooms are white, tinged with pink. It's an old, pretty tree with a habit of growing new branches out of the trunk. You have to snip them back or it turns into a wild bush.

I got stung by a bug of unknown sort. Owie!

Weeds are rude creatures. They never know their place, which isn't in my yard or garden! Bad, weeds! Bad!

I need my nails done.

I need vanilla ice cream and coffee. Try dunking a spoon full at a time in hot black coffee. Nummy.

Arpita's allergies are bad today. Poor thing. She has been in bed most of the morning and used her inhaler once.

I finished a re-write on part one of a story I'm writing. I'm mostly satisfied. Not quite.

I've gotten an inordinate amount of German-language spam. It's all for porn or computer programs. If I want to see a naked woman, I'll stand in front of a mirror, thank you very much. ... Or just look out my upstairs window at 11 pm. My neighbour has no shame! ... Which might be interested, except she's icky, and I don't mean just looks. She and her children are incipiently criminal.

Resurrecting Things

My redo-project in the room we used to use for storage continues. Sometime I feel as if I’m only shuffling things around; it’s going so slowly. I found a table with two small drawers. I don’t remember it from any of Gramma’s houses, but it must have come from there. It is slightly damaged, but it’s still attractive. It cleaned up easily enough. I put it near the large window.

I found a lamp with a clear crystal base. It was in Gramma’s bedroom for a while. I remember it well. It went on the table, along with a vintage baby picture. It’s one of my mystery photos. I haven’t a clue who that was, but it’s a pretty, alert, and active baby girl. The photo is probably from about 1910.

I also found some of the old decorative tins that everyone saved for a while. I put one of those on the table. It’s a Hostess Fruit Cake tin. I checked online and the one place that dated it placed it in the 1940’s. Based on the design, I think that it’s probably from the late 1930’s. I stole a photo of one from the Internet. Mine is smaller, but it’s the same design.

It’s frustrating to me that selecting this table, cleaning it, and putting a Battenberg Lace doily, one photo and one small tin on it took me most of the morning. At this rate I’ll be old and nearly in my grave before the room is finished.

I need my mate to remove a pile of boxes that I want taken to the Goodwill Store. That will really help.