Monday, June 29, 2020

We're Great

Mistah and I have always been -- in our estimation -- good at the whole Auntie and Uncle adventure.

We have definitely been pretty good.

But now, well, now we're Great.

All because of this little nugget.

I know.

She's magnificent.

She's perfect.

She's wee, in the cradle her Great-Jiddoo -- aw, Dad -- made . . .

(She loves it.)

She's a snappy dresser . . .

. . . and we hear she is utterly delicious in person. One day we will be able to nibble on those cheeks . . .

She is our gorgeous girl's gorgeous girl.

And we are crazy in love.

She is a Great niece.

Monday, June 22, 2020

"Can we talk about your garden?"

My lovely and delightful cousin Mary Mac and I were emailing, as we do, about books -- what we're reading / what we've read / what we are going to read -- and about family . . . but in her note the other day she said to me . . . "Can we talk about your garden?"

Why, yes. Yes, we can. We can talk about our garden All The Day.

 Being out there is like watching a show, I told her.

 The mountain laurel is busting out . . .

. . .  the tiger lilies are off the charts . . .

. . . the hydrangea is about to go nuts . . .

. . . the evening primrose? Don't even get me started . . .

. . . and its friend ol' spiderwort has given us quite a show this
Spring . . .

And these? . . .

. . . And these?

And these? Holy Moly.

And don't forget about pinkie . . .

. . . or the habaneros . . .

We are so lucky and so thankful to have this bounty. We are so lucky and so thankful to live here. And we are so lucky and so thankful to be so lucky and so thankful.

Monday, June 15, 2020


To search for some Peace during such a painful and tumultuous moment in this life, I head straight out into the Field and look
around . . .

Tiger Lillies help . . .

. . . as do Bleeding Hearts.

Irises always, ceaselessly, make everything better . . .

. . . and so do Peonies.

A volunteer splash of pink lifts the spirits immeasurably . . . 

Thank you for volunteering.

Habaneros will help later this summer . . . lots and lots and lots of habaneros.

Water helps everything . . .

. . . and so does booze . . .

In the eternal quest for Peace . . .

. . . we search.

Monday, June 8, 2020


In my eternal quest to find a voice to articulate intelligence and emotion -- to intelligently and emotionally articulate the anger and frustration embroiled in this country right now -- I looked to that genius, and National Treasure, Stevie Wonder.

Stevie has been writing songs about race and the African American struggle for decades -- decades -- with powerful lyrics but upbeat, irresistible music. We've been listening to Stevie all weekend, and I can't get "You Haven't Done Nothin'" out of my head.

The website Songfacts says, "There is some serious lyrical dissonance in this song, as the biting lyrics are accompanied by upbeat music. Wonder explained: 'The best way to get an important and heavy message across is to wrap it up nicely. It’s better to try and level out the weight of the lyrics by making the melody lighter. After all, people want to be entertained, which is all right with me. So if you have a catchy melody instead of making the whole song sound like a lesson, people are more likely to play the tune. They can dance to it and still listen to the lyrics and hopefully think about them.'"

So that's what I've been doing. Thinking about them. And listening to them. Lyrics which are as powerful and relevant today as they were almost 50 years ago . . .

We are amazed but not amused
By all the things you say that you'll do
Though much concerned but not involved
With decisions that are made by you
But we are sick and tired of hearing your song
Tellin' how you are gonna change right from wrong
'Cause if you really want to hear our views
You haven't done nothin'

It's not too cool to be ridiculed
But you brought this upon yourself
The world is tired of pacifier
We want the truth and nothing else
And we are sick and tired of hearing your song
Tellin' how you are gonna change right from wrong
'Cause if you really want to hear our views
You haven't done nothin'

Jackson 5 join along with me say
Doo doo wop - hey hey hey
Doo doo wop - whoa whoa whoa
Doo doo wop - mm-mm-mm
Doo doo wop - naw naw naw
Doo doo wop - bum bum bum
Doo doo wop

We would not care to wake up to the nightmare
That's becomin' real life, mm
But when misled who knows a person's mind
Can turn as cold as ice, um-hmm
Why do you keep on making us hear your song
Tellin' us how you are changin' right from wrong
'Cause if you really want to hear our views
You haven't done nothin'
Yeah, now
Now-now-now, nothin', nothin'

Let's listen to the man himself, at the 1974 Grammys . . .


Monday, June 1, 2020


The only people I can think to turn to for something to say during this horror are the Obamas, whose statements displayed their usual true compassion, understanding, and leadership.

Barack Obama wrote:

It's natural to wish for life "to just get back to normal" as a pandemic and economic crisis upend everything around us. But we have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly "normal" — whether it's while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in a park.

This shouldn't be "normal" in 2020 America. It can't be "normal." If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better.

It will fall mainly on the officials of Minnesota to ensure that the circumstances surrounding George Floyd's death are investigated thoroughly and that justice is ultimately done. But it falls on all of us, regardless of our race or station — including the majority of men and women in law enforcement who take pride in doing their tough job the right way, every day — to work together to create a "new normal" in which the legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment no longer infects our institutions or our hearts.

And Michele Obama wrote:

Like so many of you, I’m pained by these recent tragedies. And I’m exhausted by a heartbreak that never seems to stop. Right now it’s George, Breonna, and Ahmaud. Before that it was Eric, Sandra, and Michael. It just goes on, and on, and on. Race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with. But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of color to deal with it.” She continued, “It’s up to all of us—Black, white, everyone—no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out. It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own. It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets. I pray we all have the strength for that journey, just as I pray for the souls and the families of those who were taken from us.

Justice, compassion and empathy. Lofty goals indeed.