Full Moons and Old Ladies

What a full moon can pull out of me…..an abundance of noticings.

“Noticings” – observations that require another glance, ones demanding awareness.

So here they are….

I look older, but not feeling older. Just more comfortable in the space I take up.

I am getting more cautious. Caution not only in where I step,  but who I want to talk to,  listen to,  share my time with.  I don’t want the company,  the chattiness that invades a quiet space and time I am guarding like it is in limited supply.

I don’t want to answer questions that start with “why”. If you have to ask a seventy-eight year old woman “why” – don’t.  Just make up your own answer and keep it to yourself.  Leave her alone.  Don’t put her in a position of trying to find an answer that suits,  or worse yet,  gets her lost in trying to remember why.  You are wasting your time, and even worse, wasting hers.

Keep me out of a room full of people talking.  Put me in a room with heads down working on private matters,  thinking,  writing,  making art.  With not one of them needing their neighbor’s comments or approvals.  If it has to be a room full of people,  have them all lost in the company of themselves,  having conversations with no interruptions.

The full moon reminds me that another month has likely gone by.  And I am looking around to see what I accomplished in that time – not much.

Okay. More baking. There is little that can match the anticipation of what is about to come out of an oven.  And I will completely clean the kitchen in the time it takes to bake something.  Whatever it is, needs to be brought into a place prepared and ready to receive.  I guarantee it will taste better if the kitchen has been cleaned up.

I didn’t make any promises to the moon I saw a month ago. So there is no guilt – only a tallying up.

I baked.

I met two new people, no probably one.

I laughed a bit more. And it was out loud.

I don’t know if the laughing made me feel comfortable afterwards but it just slipped out.  I soon got back to quiet.

I like my cats.  They are experts at taking care of themselves emotionally and ask little of me,  except when I walk past the treat jar and don’t open it. They sit on my pillow every morning at 5:30 a.m. and ask if today will be like yesterday.  I assure them it will.  They seem relieved to know that, and we all go about getting the day started.

I may have to switch to white wine or a more expensive red.  Older women can get a bit of acid reaction to some of the cheaper wines.  And by the time I take an antacid so as to have a second glass,  I think maybe a good single malt would have done the trick.  Besides, wine wants cheese and crackers.  Scotch just wants my company and stays around longer to hear all I have to say.

I would like to take myself out to dinner.  Just me.  But it’s a small town.  What happens if someone says, “May I join you?”  Could I really say, “No, but thanks for asking.”  Yes, I could.  I could do that now.  At seventy-seven I likely would have said, “Sure.” and then hoped they ate more than they talked.

The moon also reminds me of the work unfinished.  Drawings not made,  words not written,  needles not threaded and ready to jab into cloth.

I miss seeing the full moon shoving its way into my bedroom at night, through un-shaded windows. But now I have the shades and curtains in front of them – blocking sun and moon. It is a good thing that the moon now comes through the living room,  sneaks into the hall outside my door and waits for me to waken.

He is an old man looking for company and I wander out to watch and listen to his stories of what he saw on the other side of the world.  And his anticipation of what he will see next as he moves away from me.

He probably does not want to listen to a disgruntled old woman.  He has heard enough from them these past several hours and likely prefers the murmurings of young lovers.  Too bad.  This is all he gets from me.  No wonder he sneaks off into darkness and waits a month before calling me out again.

I must have been in this mood when I wrote the following poem.  I know I was seventy-eight – not seventy-seven.

If You Looked

If you looked

you would have

seen it in her face.

The way she looked

just now.


A glance in your direction

before she looked away,

back at her hands

holding onto each other

in her lap.


You would have noticed

how much was said

just then

in the way  she would not

return your gaze.


And saw how

her mouth was set,

her shoulders tensed,

how she pulled back

when you spoke.


If you looked

you would know

that you will stay on

the other side of the wall

and out of arms reach.


Leave her now

and let her go back

to the place

behind the door

that has no room for you


She will not look back at you

and does not want to hear

what you remember.

And you would have known that

if you looked.


S. Webster


I understood this woman from the time she popped into my head.  And left her alone as soon as I put her into words.

It is time to get something done.  Or at least started.

I’ll take a walk, and watch my step.

I’ll take a picture of something starting to come alive.

I’ll talk to someone I meet more than I will talk to their dog.

That’s my plan.

And I did go for that walk……

I must not be a rolling stone because I gathered more moss for my little moss beds on the bench. AND I did talk to two different people more than I talked to their dogs. Some improvement here in practicing social skills.

An Amazon order arrives later that will have cat litter, a cross cut shredder, the latest novel from Australian mystery writer, Jane Harper, and some personals. So much easier than having to find a store.

I think this is quite enough for now…..I sense a slight influence of Helen Garner’s essays in “Everywhere I look”. She is over eighty and totally honest in point of view. Brilliant Australian writer and worth looking up.

Til later…..


A Little Bit Late But Loads of Pictures To Catch Up

The meadow is exploding with goldenrod!

So yellow!

Walking along a newly mowed path I was briefly seeking shelter from a quick shower in this covered picnic area,

Just off to the left is my new house.

Then on with the walk…

Past this lovely tree and following the creek by the Indian Mound entrance…I found where it meets the river behind the corn field.

And more interesting trees.

And wildflowers…

On the way back to the house I talked to a man flying his remote control airplane. I took a picture of it flying around me.

The following day I returned to the river behind the cornfield.

My house is one of those roofs on the opposite side of the corn field.

I gathered moss for my moss gardens by the front door where there is no sunshine.

My remaining fish bottles with wires and rocks will hang over this bench when my son and Marla return for Thanksgiving.

While walking through the meadow I saw many butterflies and added some to my Meadow Book.

It was nice to have time to catch up with my book and what is happening in the meadow.

And one more thing. At the end of the kitchen cabinets sits the Information Center. It never occurred to me how easily it would be mistaken for a Bible open on a podium. The movers were the first to ask if it was a family bible. No, we never had one of those in my house. We had dictionaries.

Perhaps it is an assumption of where I live…that this would be a bible. It is not. And when I looked over to see what page it was opened to I found this sweet little drawing….illustrating a quintain.

A quintain is a mounted target for jousters when practicing. Interesting, right? A good scrabble word if nothing else…doubtful it will come up in cocktail conversations, but I might just share it anyway before opening the dictionary to a new section. And the word “quirk” is a good one for Wordle. I will check out that word, “quirt” before I change the pages. The fact that the acid content in the pages causes browning of the edges, gives it even more authority and the wisdom of age. It was published in 1983.

So that is all for now.

Til later….


Small Distractions

I brought home an armload of flowers to put on the hearth a few days ago. The new living room rug is down but wants to keep curling on the ends where it had been rolled. Cartons are weighting the taped edges but it will take some more time for it to go flat.

I added a smaller snake than we had before to the front garden. Then ordered a bamboo fountain and small pump to have a water feature by the front door in a favorite old pottery bowl.

Then I took a day to organize and catch up on the alcohol consumption books. I started them over twenty years ago. The book had to be covered with a carry bag of some alcoholic beverage. The early ones were LCBO standing for Liquor Control Board Ontario. The first came with a friend bringing a very nice Dalwhinnie single malt scotch. The book pages are blank sheets where a label of something alcoholic is peeled from the bottle, pasted onto the page with a comment or two of how much I liked the drink and how much I may or may not have liked the company I drank it with. No label was to be repeated but the companions certainly could be. The books are made in all sorts of sizes depending on the packaging I am fitting for the cover. Extra short folios are added to allow for the addition of labels taking up space.

So here is the one just finished and the new one just started.

The book on the left from an excellent time with Australian friends lasted until the final drink at my old place. The one on the right was the only way I could find to fit the box a terrific scotch came in given to me from an equally terrific student in Australia. I drank the scotch there but brought the box home. If you are ever in Tasmania drop in to the distillery and enjoy.

Above is the inside cover

And here are pages from the previous book so you can see neatness is not a priority.

And the new labels in the new book. The first page is a bottle of 19 Crimes Cabernet Sauvignon. I kept this bottle because it was the last I had with the original convict chosen for the label. His descendants later objected and now there is a different one. It seemed fitting it be one of the first in the book.

Then my love of 19 Crimes faded as they were willing to put anyone who served time on their labels. Celebrity Americans who had not a single thing to do with the 19 crimes of deportation from England to Australia.. My daughter’s partner, Ben, brought this one down to celebrate the new house…knowing I would not make the purchase myself.

The one on the right is the last of one of Patrick’s very excellent choices in scotch whiskey. So now the book waits for a new to me label from a bottle of something hopefully drunk in good company. There is a wonderful history in the pages of these books. And when a favorite companion passes on, I slip the obituary into the pages where we last had a nice drink together. There are now fifteen books in all. And in addition, the two Covid books with labels of what was getting us, the family,  through isolation.  Those, of course, are not near the fun of the others to look back on.

And finally today, to stall opening more boxes, I made some savoury scones. I learned two things in the process. How to make buttermilk out of milk. Just add 1/2 tsp lemon juice to 1/2 cup milk. Mix together and wait 8 minutes before using. You could also use white vinegar but I am not a fan of vinegar.

The other thing I learned is not to separate the scones after cutting them into wedges to bake. Cut them into equal pieces but bake the round whole before separating them after baking and cooling.

These are delicious using up bits in the refrigerator.

Til later….

The Wine Helps

To say I was sick of packing and looking at boxes would be an understatement. But when I see the completely empty spaces, I see real progress!

When they pick up all the shelving units from my studio storage area, they will have to pack up my drill press as well. It doesn’t fit in a box and I cannot lift it. The shelves and that old work table will go into the garage on the side I will use as a studio of sorts. Mostly for printmaking with the etching press and proof press out there. My fingers are itching to start carving again.

I never thought I’d see the back of the under stairs storage but it is all cleared out and I stood back there to get the picture.

And I thought of giving the large easel away but was talked out of it. So into the garage it goes for the time being.

And at the new house there are some new things happening. All flooring and baseboards are in. New granite counter tops in the kitchen and bathrooms.

And the shower is complete except for the glass door that goes here and in the guest bathroom shower.

I delivered all the light fixtures and fans on Friday. I might be a couple of lights short and will check on that tomorrow.  Seems I need to get a ceiling fixture for the entrance to the front door and a second ceiling light for over the sink island.  I did not want those hanging down pendants so opted for a recessed fixture that the builder and electrician think needs to have a mate. Easy.

I have started packing the pantry. Good grief! Why was there so much in the way of canned goods and pastas in there?! Did I think I was not going to the store before the year was up? This morning on my weekly trip to the dump quite a few out dated jars and cans went with me. But I did keep three jars from the back of the shelves….maple syrup our son harvested and cooked down in 1984 as a school project. When he comes for Christmas I think we need to open a jar and have some over pancakes. As I remember the syrup had a very smoky flavor due to the open fire he had to use to cook it down. And I remember that it is a bit thin for syrup because how many hours upon hours can any of us watch sap thicken. Harvesting from our own maple trees was so much fun. Just like making wine from the wild grapes along the road and dandelions from the yard. Does anybody even do those things nowadays?

A new drawing in the house book.

Maybe when I walk through the meadow to the new house tomorrow morning the builder will greet me with the house keys…..maybe not. For now I am enjoying a glass of red while I write this. Friday night friends picked me up to go to the winery to meet their friends. It was another chance to practice my social skills….woefully fading over the last few years. It was delightful. I think I am getting better at it. No where near ready for a whole room full of people, but a couple at a time seems doable.

Til later…..