Happy Days – The Books are Available!

I woke up early to catch the moon before heading off to the gym. The news on my Iphone was that my books have been approved and are now available on Amazon for $9.99 each under the name S. Webster. One with poetry is titled Inner Navigations and the other of essays on art, teaching, travel, etc. is titled Essays. Nice to have that behind me now so I can work on other book projects.

The night of the fourth my neighbor across the road celebrated with endless fireworks. I have never been that close to them. Quite a show I can share. I just had to stand in my pjs out of sight by the front door to get these pictures.

And a couple of days to work on the Sticks and Stones Book.

And on my way back from the gym, the meadow was filled with purple clover.

That is it for today but one other thing…remember the photo of the strange plants in the meadow?

The movie I was reminded of was a 1962 film starring Howard Keel and titled, The Day of the Triffids.  Just had to follow up on that.

Til later….

I have ordered my books to see how they turned out. Should get them this Saturday.

A Good Catch Up Post

Still walking to the gym when it is not raining.

The absence of the bleachers is filling in, and a sunny bit of lichen on the post outside the gym.

A bit of baking while the stone work was being done.

They make a nice quick meal.

The flag stone is all in place where I planned in the front.

And in the back.

And the back from the opposite direction.

In two weeks my yardman will return to put as many of these extra stones between the mulch and gravel out back and lay some outside the back porch door to step on. Plus put them down under the pots and where the big rusted sculpture goes between living room and bedroom windows. Still plenty to use up.

And I finally got back to my Meadow sketchbook. Mockingbird and swallows.

And to be delivered tomorrow are the proofs for the two books finished this past week.

I am such a visual and hands on person that I need to see them in person to see where corrections are needed before giving the go ahead. I had to learn so much about the process of getting them this far. They are about the size of a Billy Collins or Mary Oliver paperback and are priced at $9.99 USD from Amazon when they are ready. I might take the proofs to the poetry meeting this week. And that reminds me that one of the poets who writes with children in mind is coming over after the meeting to look over Burke and Wills illustrations

I think that might be my next project.

Anyway, I did love doing these books and reading the words of my life again.

And that reminds me that in a conversation with one of the men at the coffee mornings, he said he wouldn’t mind finding someone to share his life with. I asked if he really thought it was a necessity. His answer was yes. He said it would give him a “witness to his life.” He said I, on the other hand, did not need one because I witness my own life through writing and drawing. I found it beautiful that having a witness to your life matters to this man.

I am touched by his words and will pay closer attention to my witnessing.

Til later….

So Much to Work On

The walks to the gym continue. Love the dew on the grasses in the meadow on my way back before seven-thirty in the morning.

Two days ago the mail lady rang my door bell to show me a much-damaged package. When I saw it was from Australia, I automatically signed for it rather than to refuse delivery. I carefully brought it in the house to the kitchen sink. Once opened and cleaned up, there were four cans of Saunders malt extract – all with lids popped off due to the crushing, one can of Keens curry powder, crushed and spice sticking to a bit of leaked Vegemite jar (one of two), some Dukkah that had a ruined carton but packet inside was safe. A mess to be sure!

I rescued all but one can of Saunders (because its inner foil seal was broken), and the disappearing curry powder. It turns out the package was a birthday gift from my daughter from a store in Victoria Aus. that caters to those who miss their foods of home when they have moved out of the country. They did a lousy job of packing but the house smelled wonderful and I now have enough malt extract to make my malt cookies until the day I die! One of the jars of Vegemite went to the Australian bike shop owner because he told me how much he missed it and was unable to find it here. When I took it to him I had a chance to visit with his father fresh from down under and very grateful for the Anzac cookies I took in.

I hope to visit with him again before they head back to Perth.

I watched Sadie make a book selection the other evening. She is in the middle of the top shelf of Australian selections.

And today, right after returning from lunch with neighbors, the stone man made his delivery of flagstone and sand for the front and back yards.

I have been laying out both books, the poetry one and the essays one, in the proper format. It took a couple of days to figure out how to number pages, but I got there. I am keeping each of them the same size and hope to have them ready soon to send in and ask for preview copies to go over one more time.  Designing the covers was an interesting part of this adventure.  I want them similar in size, feel and look.

Not much else going on. Next week the stone laying crew come in and we are hoping that it finishes up in the five days they will be here. All depends on weather and how much help he can bring in.

And one more thing. Many years ago our tax man told me to keep track of my car mileage because I used my car for business purposes. I kept up the practice. So when I bought my yellow Ford Escape in 2002, I started a new little binder to keep track.

When I bought a new car, another Ford Escape, the green one I now drive,  I continued to keep track in the same book.

Well yesterday I was filling up and noticed there was only the smallest space left to record the date, mileage, and amount of gas put in. I stood there having a moment all by myself as this little spiral book of every gas fill up, oil change, new tires, car repairs, etc. just came to an end.  Since 2002 I knew all about my relationship with my car. Now I have about three weeks to find another binder of 3 x 5″ with the spiral on the long side. Friends and family think I am a bit obsessive to keep this up when it is not necessary anymore. And hasn’t been for some time. But I need to hang onto what I can at seventy-nine. I love this tattered book that has gone every place with me when I am driving. I just need to find another little companion to go with the pens waiting in the console til needed.

Better go…it is time for a walk around the neighborhood and some wine.

Til later….


Bamboo and Books

My yardman came today with the last bamboo fencing piece. We thought it looked better in the center because it was quite tall, so switched it with the center original one.  It has been a cloudy day and the picture is not that good. he also brought a couple of extra pieces of good size bamboo poles. Not to waste anything I suggested we cut one to fit horizontally along the inside of my porch to hold in the shade from blowing into the screen, table and chairs. In my former home we had lots of bamboo at our disposal so posted two vertically between floor and ceiling in front of each shade to keep them from hitting us in the head when a wind came up.

Well here I just don’t want to see my neighbors gas tank and keep the afternoon sun out. But it still gets a bit breezy so…..

Now the bamboo is tightly wedged across to keep the shade from flapping and my neighbor has simply disappeared! Not really, but his side of the house has, taking the gas tank with it.

And not to waste a good long piece of bamboo, I had him cut it for the front entry. Notice he cut it a bit short and we used a stone to make up the difference. I like how enthusiastic he is about my ideas. Now he plans to bring another for the opposite side.

I am hoping to find a storm door with a built in screen to put on the entry doorway. It would make the best breeze flowing through the house from porch to front door.

The other day my neighbor called me over to see the deer in her back yard. I have not seen any since I left my old house where we fed them regularly.

It was a welcome break because I have been covered up with designing and laying out the poetry book. I had it all set and saved as a six by nine inch book, but then got to thinking that it just was not an “intimate” size for poetry. So had to start all over with a new template for the smaller size. I dug out a Billy Collins and Mary Oliver books to check if I was being a bit picky…..no, both of theirs’s are smaller than six by nine.

Then of course, I need to see it actually on paper because the cold flatness of the computer does not tell me where exactly things are.

I notice that the slightest adjustment can throw everything off so am most grateful that there is that clever “undo” tab to hit. That and a daughter who understands the hidden meanings of what a computer actually wants of me.

This week I will have three ton of flagstone and two ton of sand delivered so that my yardman and his crew can get started next week. Then once that is all in place, I can quit thinking about what else the tiny yard I do have, can use to make it more me.

That is it for now…I need to take a walk when the rain stops….

Til later…