Saturday, March 5, 2011

Strange Clouds Above Me

Taken February 18, 2011.

Click image to see larger version


  1. Oooh, pretty. Almost looks like those trees were used as rakes in the sand zen garden of the sky.

    We have not seen anything but gray and rain for a couple days, and we expect more of that today, but as long as it stays above freezing I'm not complaining. (Until the thunder starts and then I have four cats underneath me, one of them with more cats on board, dear god what have I done.)

    Janet, were you serious about writing dark kiddie tales? Because that bloody beef jerky tongue story strongly suggests you could be the second coming of Roald Dahl. The world's children desperately need another Dahl, an adult who understands them, who doesn't try to manipulate them or lie to them, and your voice filling that void would be so damn amazing. :)

  2. We've had a couple of days of sun scattered between many days of rain.

    ... wait. Something just sunk in. Which cat is preggers!?!

  3. The Saga of Ruby & Fred

    Late last summer, we spied this little black cat nosing around in the bird seed and dried fruit bits that we leave out for the birds and squirrels and such. She was dangerously thin and clearly starving. She would not let me approach her at all and she would run into the woods out behind the house if I came outside. I believe she would have died fairly soon without our intervention.

    I began leaving cat food out for her on the back porch, and it took her a few days to recognize it as food, so I believe she was feral rather than a stray. Finally, she began to eat it and I would watch from inside and cheer quietly.

    She began observing the situation closely, and a few days later, she seemed to figure out that I was leaving food out there for her specifically, so we began to get more cautiously friendly. A day or so later, she came traipsing out of the woods with a just-weaned kitten behind her, a very wee but belly-plump Mr. Fred. We don't know if he was the only one she had from that litter, or just the only one who lived, but it was just the two of them by then, and she was taking excellent care of him.

    As the cold weather came in, I built them an insulated shelter and made them comfortable on the back porch, feeding them every morning at sunrise to avoid the attention of the huge tomcat out there who is clearly Fred's dad, as Fred looks just like him. We hoped to get them both inside and seen by the vet and spayed/neutered before Ruby went into heat again, but the trust-building exercises between 2 people, 2 indoor cats, and 2 feral cats took a long time, so by the time we got them inside, Ruby had more babies on board.

    They've moved in now and are adjusting to life inside wonderfully. Presently I am spending a lot of time cleaning out corners and closets so Ruby has some choices about where to nest. Fred will be neutered in a week or so, and after we go through this birth, we'll spay Ruby as well.


  4. I'm here. Stomach viruses suck. Daughter Dearest has it too. I'm quarantined in the bedroom hoping to not infect Mason (probably futile as I had to get up with him twice last night).

    Janet, the beef jerky incident sounds hilarious. I LOL at the mental image of the women freaking out and the kid's face stuck in the door…

    Jen, Ruby will go under the sofa for the birthing, count on it. When we lived in the double-wide, one of our cats went underneath & made a maternity nest in the insulation under the kids' rooms. I had to trick her to find the nest, and got three kitties out of it. There was a fourth that I missed, as I found out the next night when it was mewing. I let mama under the house and she brought #4 right to us. They lived on our screened-in porch, and every time someone even touched the front door, you would hear a galloping herd and BAM BAM BAM BAM as all four of them attached themselves to the screen door. :-D

  5. Aww, Farf, sorry to hear about the stomach virus. Those tend to suck and blow fairly equally, ugh. Hope you & DD feel better soonest and I hope the baby avoids it altogether.

    Thanks for the advice about the birthing. Ruby is actually spending a lot of time under this one particular couch so I think you've hit the nail on the head.

  6. Jen, I'm going to print that off and paste it somewhere I can read it all the time. I love reading to children and most of the stories are "dark", conspiracy stories (where you get the real dirt on what actually happened with those "other" stories.) Several authors out there who can actually pulll it off and the ones I really enjoy buying. Several of my stories must be influenced by that as well as growing up loving writers just like Dahl. Thank you.

    And as you know 'edit' is my friend. Tried to explain to the "man slave" as we are calling him this groggy morning... that chat writing is NOT the same as "writing-writing" - however, he's seen some of my stuff (writing, not even blogging-writing) and so he sometimes gets it but usually has to be gently reminded. Especially if I'm fighting like I am within to actually do this. I look at you guys and think... wtf and I thinking. But truly I don't think I should compare, my writing voice comes from a different place and is going elsewhere. Or not going anywhere at all but to be written out so they can be saved for my ownself and maybe that of a kid who I think might really like some of them collected up like a rotten little secret. "From my heart only to your true imagination". I've been thinking about this for sometime, since as a Mom and a volunteer read and storyteller. Just now it's getting passed my lips and from my best friend who has pulled her hair out for years over this tiny topic.

    Oh and congrats on learning the exhaustion of being a Mom :)

  7. And PS to Jen, I just read this to my love. He thinks you just gave me one wicked starting point in how to explain this and therefore get a move on with it. Thanks for helping me unravel what I've always known was there.

    PSSSwhatever - Another reason I love you, you use words like, "Presently". :)

    Thank you guys!!! I have a freaking line of direction!!!! yay AND "doh!" It was riiiight there in front of me all this time!!!

  8. Janet, as a kid I was a HUGE fan of Dahl (still am, I re-read him regularly). My favorite fairy tale reader when I was 4 was this dictionary-fat Grimm Brothers collection, so in this way you and I are like sisters from different misters. xoxo

    Don't sweat the editing thing, either, that's what editors are for -- also friends who adore you and will gleefully offer suggestions for free, at least until you start raking in the Rowling money. ;p

  9. Oh Jen what a story! What a denouement! What a mess under the couch!

    Poor Farf. Feel better soon.

    Can't wait to read what you do, Janet -- you will share it with us, won't you?

  10. well, Andi, if you wanna' read something already I've got stuff put aside... but it's not a kid story (it's not erotica either :)) - I may have shared it with you before. "Down the Stream of Consciousness" let me know.

    Thanks ***Jen & Andi***

    Making vegan banana, pecan pancakes right now -

    And Wes got inivted out to the movies today!!! Totally spontaneous, too. Two other boys from his program got it going. "I Am 4" is what they are at. He's getting bigger... le sigh.

  11. Andi & Jen, oddly this is a "writing" about "writing" or moreorless my insomniacidal-think-yerself-to deathself thinking (or talking myself out of) about writing "for realsy".

    Agggh it's too long to post in one piece. Sorry

  12. I don't remember reading that piece, Janet.

    It's cool that Wes is going to have a "boys' night out". :)

  13. Down Stream of Consciousness.

    Caught myself -
    drifting along the playground of the "What?" section of my azure galaxy. A dandylion parachuting into and through my grey matter.

    No. That's just too much thought. Let's drift deeper. Let's fall away into a mindpuddle. Ker-plop. Feels better. Languid. Warm. ... Free.

    Clarity at just 6 after midnight. Clarity the consistency of mud perhaps but much clearer than the past few days. Why? I've been pushing, pulling, prying. Pretending... naw too strong of word. It means malice; some dastardly intent. I've been... inhibited. Still too intense a term. I've been... forcing myself. I can almost bite into that.

    The nooks and crannies of my mind that I like most come out in this hour of shuffle of snores and thoughtless patterns - or is that patternless thoughts(?). I think it will be more of me if I write this time. It's like I'm channeling when I can accomplish that ... how can it be termed? That "zone"? That moment when you realize the fingers have stopped and something is before your eyes. Be it a poem. A recollection given substance, weight. Tossing out cobwebs of thoughts and seeing them materialize into shimmers that slowly spin into another creation. Either of their own. Of mine. Or neither. Just another path that might call to your curiosity than the route you had intended.

    Right now if I continue on this thought train trampoline, it will be not what it could be. Sometimes I can almost hear it breathing. Did it just roll over as I assumed it was asleep? Can it be as fun as I dream it and still be appropriate? As I watch it change and turn, regress, expand, and change again?

    Also, I'm scared. I throw too much of my heartsongs heartstrings heartclings, take your pick, into it. I could fall away. You are touching the face of my dream as I watch you peer or skim. You are mouthing my secrets, my hidden thoughts, my courageous cowardliness of this little imaginary cove of isolation.

    Falling away. Let's fall away again. Slide.

    I'm slowly approaching the foamy tide as it sweeps closer to my moon drenched toes. The wind prickling my skin. My hair slapping into tangles. I know it's cold. I know it's taste. Salt. I know it's beckoning me. I know I could forever be satisfied standing at this moment, at this place. But I know the frustrations it unleashes and unfurls. The angular anger. The sharpness of it's spray.

    Chaos can be coy and clever in it's clawing ways of lulling you into submission. Comforting chaos. Why? because it's known. It's around. Focus. That's my fear. Direction. Purpose... these call up expectations that can bludgeon me before I begin. Or maybe I don't need to "swim" but instead need to succumb. To let it funnel out like a typhoon. Let it rush out. Let it spiral, undulate, ... let it take over? Maybe I'm just afraid of the "under toad" that will pull me out past my liking? Maybe I just need to drown. Feel the control bubble out of me. Let the reigns fall away fall away fall away.

    Maybe in letting it go it won't turn into a stranger you didn't expect but instead you will evolve into something you've always loved and wanted more of? Maybe I can just for now let myself feel the water come up to my temples, my lips. Feel the coldness wander over my eyelids as my hair streaks outward. As I float along the shallow end, just for now, all the while magically keeping my toes out of the water.

    See? The clarity of mud. Fumbling. Stumbling. Bumbling. But it's okay. It's known. I know where the sand sifts, and where the pebbles pinch. I've walked here before. Again. Always? I am my own drug of choice. I'm addicted to my own limits. I can just barely taste the limitlessness that only I can offer myself.

  14. Gag-aroni. I hate this. I feel naked. Awkward. And I can't breathe. :P

  15. Breathe Janet! Sorry for going to bed and leaving in that state. ;)

    It's a very strongly written piece with some fine imagery but what I really like is your use of rhythm and rhyming -- the music they create is like a balm soothing the rawness of the emotions.

  16. What a mess under the couch!

    Heh. When I told E what Farf said she responded, "That's cool, I really wanted wood floors in that room anyway," because we are the House of Zen. (We're going to put some blankets behind the couch.)

    E was also telling me this story about some woman she knows from work who took in a stray dog, the dog turned out to be pregnant, and then there were complications and an emergency vet visit for two grand and the woman nearly wound up divorced over it. After hearing this story, E, Captain Sensitivity, says to the woman, "So, do you want a kitten?" lol

  17. Gag-aroni. I hate this. I feel naked. Awkward. And I can't breathe. :P

    Heh, that seals the deal, you're a natural born writer! ;p That's the same way I feel whenever I let anything I think of as "real" writing go public. I'm actually more comfortable and less awkward when I'm naked-naked in public than when my writing is exposed, heh. In my case, I put it down to the multi-layered anxiety disorder I have but it does seem very common and might be the sort of general writer thing that affects all but the narcissists. Anyhoo, fwiw, here are the droplets from that stream that felt the most amazing when they landed on the skin of my mind:

    Let's fall away into a mindpuddle.
    Clarity the consistency of mud
    I can almost bite into that.
    thought train trampoline
    You are touching the face of my dream as I watch you peer or skim.
    angular anger
    Maybe in letting it go it won't turn into a stranger you didn't expect but instead you will evolve into something you've always loved
    I am my own drug of choice. I'm addicted to my own limits. I can just barely taste the limitlessness that only I can offer myself.

    Powerful ending, love those last lines. Knowing how to stick the landing is a key talent, too, not a lot of so-called great writers can do it well. Thanks for pushing through your fears, it was worth it.

  18. I might be zen while contemplating the event but having long ago witnessed dogs giving birth I am confident that I would be rather unhinged while it was actually happening. But wood floors are nice. :)