life between the pages

“I spent my life folded between the pages of books.
In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.”
Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

saving the world one bit at a time

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perhaps the reason i've always found hanging out the laundry therapeutic is the fact that when i was a toddler, my mother and grandmother carried me out in the basket where i would lay on a quilt in the warm sunshine while they hung out the sheets. i also remember helping gramma running clothes thru the wringer washer. the work was clean and made her happy --she always hummed a tune as she worked. now, even on days when nothing else seems to get done (or done right), it is always a source of extreme satisfaction to me to be taking advantage of the wind and the sun, with the end result a fresh, healthy, and free pleasure, not to mention a great source of exercise.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

the open road

Image copyright 2005 by Susannah B. Smith

on the way to badger's house...
my husband tells me that there are no badgers east of the mississippi, and they are mean & nasty creatures to boot. so i feel the need to clarify: moley & ratty are just ahead and if we scurry, we can catch up to them and have a lovely tromp thru the wild wood...

Thursday, June 23, 2005

presto chango! coming to a farm near you...

did you see that
horse turn into a

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that local governments may seize people's homes and businesses — even against their will — for private economic development.

It was a decision fraught with huge implications for a country with many areas, particularly the rapidly growing urban and suburban areas, facing countervailing pressures of development and property ownership rights.
The 5-4 ruling represented a defeat for some Connecticut residents whose homes are slated for destruction to make room for an office complex. They argued that cities have no right to take their land except for projects with a clear public use, such as roads or schools, or to revitalize blighted areas.
Rest of article at

Read the complete Supreme Court opinion here:

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

another day in paradise

watch this space... development in process on this bit of earth. this pic taken tuesday afternoon, march 22, 2005.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

fallow fields

deep in thoughts of mother earth & her overall health this morning that were further reinforced as i drove in to work. the road takes me past more than a few farms, older housing stock, and spiffy new developments, shining like tacky-bright medallions in the crow's nest of our complicated rurality. several of these farms still pasture cattle --black baldies, angus, and mahogany-red simmentaler. there are cornfields, where the grain is now taller than i am. and nearer to town, the fallow fields where here and there still rise an errant cornstalk, leftovers from last year's harvest. these spear my heart like a picture of an orphan's bad haircut, as mute evidence of neglect. for it means that the land has been sold, and a shopping center, or mcmansions, are on the way.

can we say sprawl?

i will be silent on that subject for now, for truly there is nothing nice to say. my psyche needs relief, hope, or something, so i will go digging for that. plenty of good things are out there, plenty of nice folks. hope springs eternal. and so do the grass, the trees, nature itself seems always to win out. we don't always like it, sometimes it frightens us, but some of us do learn to live with that, and so far, humanity has survived some pretty awful things that we have done to ourselves and our world.

surely we can survive this, too.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

rain, rain, come again

we are floating away here in our little town. as in, the creeks are risin'!! saw several homes on the way in in the 600K+ price range sitting in the middle of ponds that used to be their yards. the water was churning over the dam --exciting, wonderful thing that nature is. i can imagine your dismay at my callow attitude --surely i wouldn't look at it that way if it were my house, but then, i didn't build three years ago in a flood zone. i live in a hundred year old house on main street, where if it flooded i would have known about it because of the clear evidence all around me. and ummm... how did anyone not notice there was a CLIFF under those houses there at Laguna Beach?

and what? it happened before? --counter to the discussion, the price of real estate went UP after the last landslide, not down... go figure. and people still came, and built, and were not conquered by losing it all, apparently.

but these folk do such silly things & then are surprised when nature actually takes its course --and your tax dollars help pay for the fixes thru FEMA --how do you like them apples? america! land of the free!

i guess this sortof thing gets me more upset than bird flu, apparently. each to his or her own soapbox! we'll learn from each other, i hope. meanwhile, i thoroughly enjoyed riding down to see the churning floodwaters and floating equipment all around in those brand-new subdivisions off of the local big, fat creek. One of the roads under construction was an entire river unto itself --of course!! the big development containing exclusively chewacla & colfax & tatum soils! why do they expect anything else?????? can no one listen to the planners? of course not. "that's what engineers are for --to get permits from the army corps of engineers & fill in wetlands." well, today i am laughing up my sleeve. tee-hee!!

what does it say when one is reduced to laughing at the troubles of others? sorry, those others are the ones who devil me personally at work, and i have to take it, day in & day out. the ones who are affronted & call the mayor to complain when i politely tell them i cannot issue them a building permit for that lot until their surveyor fills out a flood elevation certificate. sorry --it's the law, i just enforce it. so i take my joys where i may.

happy fishing to you all --enjoy the weather!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

personal geography

i posted the bit yesterday and the poem the day before, dredged up from past notebooks where i jot down observations from my everyday life --some of which come out as poetry.... from time to time i may do that as opposed to actually typing something as it comes to me. sometimes i made more sense in the past than i seem to do these days. sometimes it seems i have no words beyond what i've already said.

i am looking for commonality, for validation that my original design fits the reality that i became. it is an exercise common to the planning process --evaluate, check your reference points, ensure they are still valid, go back and re-evaluate if necessary to ensure you read it right the first time. before i was a planner i was a cartographer; the same process is used in mapping. as i make a garment i am also constantly checking to ensure fit and that the pieces are going together smoothly (and that I didn't stitch the underarm to the back piece!) why not examine my own life in like manner? it occurs to me that perhaps i am in my own 'life-crisis' period --i refuse to admit to the 'mid-' prefix that usually accompanies that phrase --because more and more i feel a need to re-visit who i was before i became mom, planner, seamstress. wifey. perhaps it is because i feel in many ways i forgot who i was before i got here, and in so doing, did lose something. i was a pretty neat kid, actually. always confident in the face of adversity. up to the challenge. where in the world did i leave that? as i type, i realize i know the answer, and it is not for this semi-public venue. the challenge now is, to remind myself of her value, and encompass that within myself once more.

the choices made will hopefully continue to be useful. looking back at your life from the vantage point of middle age (there! i said it!) is like looking upstream, from whence you cometh, hopefully not at a wall of water that recklessly propelled you, but more simply, at a map where you could see the points of assimilation, where the creeks came together, where you took on more than yourself to become the river of your own being. this smacks of belly-button contemplation, something i abhor. i will look no longer than necessary, to plot the reference points, and move on.