Home Again

Home again. Tired. Sad. Worn out.
Louise Keasler Diggle - 12/25/1915 - 8/29/2008
Mama has died.

For seventy-two hours I was one of three of her daughters who, along with Jim and another son-in-law, stayed with her around the clock.

We held her, kissed her, talked with her, combed her hair, wiped her face, prayed with her and sang to her. Her last intelligible words were "Hail Mary Full of Grace" as we said the rosary next to her bed. We were there to wave her off on her journey home and we held her at the moment of her last breath. (picture - Ellouise, Mama, Kathy)

It was sacred time. I feel sad, yes, but also grateful, graced and blessed.

For the past five years Mama's home was an assisted living facility in Concord, NC. The staff loved her and gave her sweet and loving care. They welcomed us into her room for the time we needed - fed us and were exceedingly kind and caring.

The funeral plans are underway but it will not be held until Friday.
Time for arrangements. Family to gather.
Jim and I drove eight hours home today. We will go back to North Carolina on Thursday.

In the meantime

I will gather old-time family pictures and send them to be used in the video - you know every event has to have a video these days. (Mama and Ellouise-age 5)
Wash my clothes.
Sit and think and probably cry - a lot.
tell stories on Wednesday night - a solo show of family stories.

I know I am not ready to tell stories about Mama -
I have many -
funny and sweet are the kind I tell about her.
But not now.

I think I will tell about second hand clothes, tatooed men, mistakes and mishaps.

Stories are good.

Laughing makes it bearable.

Love Comes in Many Forms

A beautiful piece about Mama on my daughter Robin's blog.

A woman of 93 has little treasure left - but she leaves riches none the less - in the handwork she made with love.

The afghan Mama made for me is red and black - the colors were right for our den in 1974. Jim's is stitched in shades of gold to match the chairs in his consultation office. Karen's is pink and purple to match the walls in her bedroom in the 1970s which she painted hot pink and orange.

Mama loved to crochet. For more than ten years she made afghans, ponchos and capes which she passed on to her children, their spouses and her grandchildren. The the loss of her loss of sight to maccular degeneration also robbed her of her ability to crochet. She often said, "if only I could crochet."


Louise Diggle 1915 - 2008

Louise Keasler Diggle was born Christms Day 1915. She died at 7:47 pm August 29, 2008.

My mother died yesterday evening, on the same day my father died 15 years ago.
Mama has always been resourceful but still - how did she manage to work that out?

God Bless and Rest in Peace.


Women's Equality Day

August 26, 1920 the 19th Amendment - giving women the right to vote - was passed. A struggle that began in 1848 finally ended in success.

Tonight on the 88th anniversary of that landmark day Hilary Clinton addresses the Democratic Convention - asking the 18 million women and men who voted for her during the long primary battle - to stand behind Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee for President of the US.

Someday this will be a history lesson - the first woman to win more than one primary - she won 23 - throwing her support behind Barack Obama - the first African American to win a nomination and run for president.

I admit that I am sorry not to see a woman at the top of the ticket in my lifetime - but I will take myself to the polls in November and be grateful to all the women who fought for 72 years so that I could cast my vote for Barack Obama.

Thanks to all of them I will be able to put in my mark to make history.

And, What about Hilary Clinton's speech tonight? I agree with CNN commentator, James Carville - "first class job - a homerun."


Keep Going

Sometimes you have to just keep going on.


Noticing - 3 Beautiful Things

1. As I walked back to our car in the parking lot at the Gettysburg Walmart, I heard surprising crystal clear musical notes near-by. I looked around following the sound. Then I spied a middle-aged man sitting behind the wheel, with the window down in his parked car. He was playing a tune on his recorder.

2. A PA vegetable stand yielded red ripe homegrown tomatoes, dark green local cucumbers and small richly purple eggplants fresh from someone's garden. Yum!
At the last minute I added a basket of bright green lima beans and ears of yellow corn. A delicious veggie dinner ahead.

3. We drove back to Maryland in the golden light of sunset.

There was a lot in-between but these are a few details that are worth keeping to savor the day.

Like separating the wheat from the chafe.


More than - Three Beautiful Things

The Phillips Gallery has a special exhibition of the works of two California artists, Brett Weston and Richard Diebenkorn. Its an interesting contrast of works - a winner of a show.
Weston composes tight abstract compositions in the camera frame and then prints rich, glowing black and white prints.
Richard Diebenkorn creates loose abstract color composition on canvas. These works were painted when he was in New Mexico and he captures the space and light of living in or near the desert.

The two sets of works are a foil for each other. Jim and I walked through one set of rooms and then the other and back again - seeing more by each juxtaposition.

As we leave the gallery I stop by one of my long time favorite paintings in the Phillips Collection The Egyptian Curtain by Henri Matisse. Looking at the picture brings back a memory of Ron Haynie, a special teacher, standing to the side of the picture telling our class to "hold up your finger to block out that small red spot under the white bowl - see how it holds the space." I always hold up my finger and yes, it does.

On our way to the car, inspired by Brett Weston, I take a few shots of the sculpture in the front of the gallery, looking for an abstraction to keep.

Like nothing else will - being with Art pulls me out of myself and soothes my spirit.

Gathering Wool

I am thinking this morning. Thinking about things that are coming up and things that are happening.

1. Life is a Verb, Patti Digh's beautiful new book is available. The official launch date is in September. As a prelude for the launch people are writing to Patti's blog, 37 Days, - - astounding letters about what they would do if they had 37 Days to Live. I really urge you to go to her blog and read some of these letters - they are touching, and they set you to thinking.

As a part of the build-up for Life is a Verb I have an appointment to interview Patti by phone next week and on September 8 post the interview on my blog. I loved the essays when she posted them on her blog during the last three years. The book brings them together in sequences that transform them into an incredible hand-book for living an intentional life.

2. I am thinking about Mama.
Last week-end when I sat with Mama I was reading Life is a Verb. I thought at the time it was rather ironic.I don't know whether Mama has 37 days, or fewer, or more to live but I do know she has definitely started on her journey.

When my sisters tell me "she is sleeping" I know she is snuggled under this soft, colorful fleece coverlet. I can't help wishing I did not live more than 600 miles away.
3. I dreamed last night that I met a woman who had started a company to make journals from genealogy materials. I guess I am telling myself to get back to that work.
Mostly, I am thinking about Patti's question. What would I do if I only have 37 days to live? Would any of what I am doing matter?
Have you thought about it?


Birthday Wishes and The Mummy

Wishing my sister Kathy a very Happy Birthday!

Juliana and I went to see the new MUMMY movie last night.
I loved the first two Mummy movies with Brendan Fraser as the wise-cracking gunslinger hero and Rachel Weize as the smart, dippy and appealing heroine. Together they were fun to watch. Last night I was disappointed. Evie is now played with forced grace by Maria Bello and Fraser's comedy is not as funny. Although the Mummy they find in China is a product of a fanciful fairy tale to explain the ancient mysterious terracotta army - the film does not have the same attraction it did in the originals. Ah, me.


Three beautiful Things - in Color - peaches, crocs, & socks

Peaches - delicious, delectable, glowing White Lady peaches, grown in Pa. When you cut ino these peaches the fruit is glistening white and when you bite into it - its juicy, sweet, and wonderful. Made for eating.

I was drawn to these peaches by their color - I will come
back because of their taste. I had thought there was nothing better than a Georgia peach - I was wrong.

2. While Jim and I sat outside at our local Starbucks I watched a three-year old girl wearing yellow two piece patterned pajamas and neon lime green crocs dancing with her shadow. I love the way kids clothes today mix patterns and exploit colors.

3. Taking a style tip from Claudia I am creating my own pairs of socks. Mis-matched is in - and a great way to solve my "orphan" sock dilemma.


Remembering Storyteller Doc McConnell

The following letter popped into my email just as I was about to post this picture of Doc McConnell that I took last year at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN. These words are a wonderful tribute to a very special man who will be missed and remembered.

Letter from the Board of the National Storyteller Network:

Dear NSN Family,

As many of you know by now, Doc McConnell slipped away Saturday morning from complications after a stroke. Doc was a beloved figure for many of us, one we will each miss in our own way.

To those who knew him well, Doc was a delightful dinner companion who could explain the origins of all the food on the table, a fun person to spend an hour "not running" with, and a sweet-hearted family man whose daughter carries on his legacy of kindness and concern for humanity in her teaching. He was a great encourager of newbie tellers, looking us in the eye and drawling, "Well, I believe it's your turn."

As professional storytellers, we have all benefited from Doc's life, in ways seen and unseen. Doc was a fierce advocate of storytelling, and of the citizen artist's place in society. He was about to be Tennessee's first Storyteller Laureate. He pioneered ways to involve people at grass roots levels in the National Storytelling Festival. He helped the National Storytelling Network keep its eye on the ball no matter what. And he did it all with a twinkle in his eye and a grin tugging at the corners of his mouth. The man who could sell mule eggs and snake oil in his Medicine Show used his powers for good and taught an entire generation how to stand up straight and leave 'em laughing.

The esteem in which we held Doc was clear at the National Storytelling Conference in Gatlinburg. When Doc was introduced as a Saturday night concert teller, he got a standing ovation. When he'd finished a brilliant rendering of one of his signature pieces, the audience rose to its feet again. It's nice to know that Doc's last big performance was book-ended by the love and respect he'd earned from the storytelling community throughout his life.

We lost something special when we lost you, Doc. And heaven's front porch gained a great raconteur. Enjoy the rocking chair.

For anyone wishing to send condolences to Guerry and Hannah, Hannah's husband Donnie and their daughter Maggie, the address is 423 East McKinney Ave, Rogersville, TN 37857.
You may also post your condolences at: (http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/docmcconnell)

The NSN Board and Staff: Roger Armstrong, ML Barron, Jane Crouse, Teresa Clark, Karin Hensley, Chris Kilgore, Michael D. McCarty, Margaret Meyers, Sherry Norfolk, Laura Packer, Jo Radner, Carol Rice, Kit Rogers, Judy Sima, Joseph Sobol, Wendy Welch


Riding a Slow Road - and 3 Beautiful Things.

Armed with a recorded book on cds from the library, Jim and I rode a slow road home yesterday. We did not leave Mama until after 10 am so we knew we would hit traffic in the afternoon when we reached Richmond. And we did. Four to six lanes of heavy traffic that did not break for several hours. Outside the car - traffic. Inside the car - a Ken Follett novel and the search to discover where the Nazis have hideen a radar base in Denmark..

Riding in and out of heavy rain also slows the road.

Just as a heavy heart slows you down.

So today I am looking for three beautiful things

1. When Jim and I went to Einstein's for a sandwich I stood behind three laughing boys at the serve your own soda machine and watched them splashing a dash from each spigot into their cups to concoct a new and better personal soft drink. "I think mine is going to be the best." one said. They jostled and bumped against each other and giggled.

2. A plump red tomato hangs on our tomato plant in the back yard. Those of you who have gardens or who are experienced "growers" might not understand our joy at our first red juicy tomato from the back yard. For us - this is BIG.

3. Thanks to my little red cell phone I heard this story first hand from my sister who was on the road heading home - south to Georgia. At 4:30 am this morning- in the black dark of early morning - she and her husband Johnny hit a deer on an Indiana highway. What's beautiful about that? They were not hurt!

The deer is dead - and their car is wrecked. Tney were in Kentucky when I talked with her. She said they were continuing on in a rental car - " one of those little cars that is one step above a ride-on lawn mower" - while their car is being repaired.

Kathy, I just loved that lawn-mower quip - had to use it. What's really beautiful to me is your sense of humor and the way you turn a phrase. I remember the first time you cracked a joke - your were about four - we were walking home from Granny's one evening with Mama and Daddy - I think we were on Laurel Avenue. We all laughed - and you haven't stopped since.


Humpty Dumpty

These are hard days for Mama.
Wearing a 93 year old body is not easy or comfortable.
Reminds me of the venerable Humpty Dumpty.

When I sit with her the room is crowded with memories and people we loved.
Its territory she likes to explore
And I am glad to roam it with her.


My New Cell Phone, Memory Lane, and Mama

1. I love technology. Thanks to my new cell phone and its internet connection I could follow my emails on the ride from Maryland to NC. We pulled into the Welcome Center at the NC border so that I could participate in a telephone conference call for some business and Jim could walk and enjoy the sun while I sonferenced. Later, at another rest area I used the Broad Band computer hook-up to check the graphics for my new cd with the designer. It is amazing. In the olden days, working out a piece of printing art work required more than month lead time to take it to printing and half a dozen trips to the designer to check proofs.

2. When we approached the large green sign, Butner, Jim and I decided to pull off for a side trip. When Jim was in residency at Chapel Hill he was assigned to a half year rotation at John Umstead Hospital, the NC State Mental Hopsital, in Butner. He had never been back since his last day on that stint.

Butner was more than a half hour drive from Chapel Hill so we bought our first second car, a used black VW "bug".

Well, ofcourse in more than fifty years things have changed. The oldest buildings are gone - replaced by 1970s brick sprawling complexes - that are now vacant. A month ago everything moved into a ner-by brand new modern facility. We did find one older building where there was a 1947 commemorative medallion in the floor, laid in 1947. The sprawling land set in a highly rural area is the same. The federal prison is still near-by and a mammoth water tower which was raised in 1942. We wondered - who is John Umstead? Why was the hospital named for him? No library in Butner so we will have to look elsewhere for the answer to the question.

Jim did not remember these buildings - nothing looked particularly familiar but just being there jogged his memory. He talked about how it had been to have 60 patients in a locked ward under his care. Scary. "I started smoking there" he recalled, "it made me feel I had some protection when I held ward meetings surrounded by 60 patients who were meeting with me to discuss their grievances about the situation." We smiled at each other, nodding - thinking of the young man he was then and how vulnerable he must have felt.

3, Mama - I have not been to visit Mama in six weeks because of my knee. Her voice may have sounded strong and good on the phone but she is not good nor strong. I am very glad to be here this week-end.


Three Beautiful Things - Juliana, a talking chef, and storytelling

1. We celebrated Juliana's 22 birthday by taking her out for a nice dinner. She was a delightful dinner partner - even to being vry sweet-natured when there was a bug in her elegant organic salad. Oops.

2. A new food shop has opened in our near-by neighborhood. The owner is a chef and wants to be asked about the foods and veggies. "I like to talk about food and cooking." I was holding a piece of dry lemon grass so I asked, "well what can I dowith this"
He looked at it for a moment then hande me a small, bright red Fresno pepper and said, "chop the tend ends of the lemon grass into olive oil, add lemon zest, salt and pepper and some of this red pepper to make a marinade for, perhaps - shrimp."
I have some fraozen cooked shrimp - I will try it. For supper." I did - a chef's one minute tip that was a winner.

3. Booking storytelling work for the Fall.


Happy Birthday Day Daddy

You know how some days are just important to you from as long ago as you can remember? December 25 is a double winner for me - its Christmas and its my mother's birthday. July 14 - my birthday.

August 13 is one of those significant days for me. It is my father's birthday. He was born August 13, 1914 so Daddy would have been 93 years old today.

This is one of my favorite pictures of him - taken in Nanny's side yard at 826 Central Avenue, Charlotte, NC before he was shipped oversears to India. He was 29 years old. He is the kite flier.


And more 3 BT

1. Claudia gave me a large slab from her fresh baquette to take home. It smelled so good and I was hungry so I could not wait. In the car, on Connecticutt Avenue, I pulled it out of the long white paper bakery bag and bit into it. Just right brown crunchy crust, chewy fresh baked white bread inside. Delicious. A taste of France as I turned the corner to my house.

2. Remember snail mail? Remember writing words on a piece of paper, sliding the paper into an envelope, licking the back flap, pressing the stamp on and then sending it on its way? I love email, the speed, the lack of clutter, all of that but the other night I rejoiced over snail mail. I received an intriguing message on my phone machine. A man calling from Oklahoma - "In 1991, you sent my mother a letter. She has passed on now. I don't know if she ever answered but we are working on genealogy now and would like to talk with you." He mentioned her name. I vaguely remember it. That's 17 years ago. But he did not tell me which family I had written about. Which family? He's calling me next week. I cannot wait.
17 years. Maybe he has the answer to a burning question I have forgotten.

3. It's here - the proof of my cd cover. Next week I will have this one! It is like giving birth.


Three Beautiful Things - on a Sunny Sunday

1. Baltimore under blue skies on a sunny Sunday with little traffic and time to browse memories of living here more than 50 years ago.

2. Finding that the Contemporary Art Museum and the Walters Art Gallery face Centre Street only a block apart. How simple and good is that? At the CAM we found Edible Estates installation of turning
a track house front yard into a beautiful and productive vegetable garden provacative and inspiring. Why not?

This surprising and charming mural on a dull brick wall across the street from the museums brought the street to life.


Three Beautiful Things

1. Watching light creep into the world on a cool, quiet country morning.

2. Bl-ambling - I made up a word for ramblilng through blogs. I love cyber-visiting. The surprises of finding new people, and encountering different ideas that jog my memory or shake things up keeps me from getting stuck in old ideas Bl-ambling stirs the pot. And, I can do it- barefoot in my nightgown. No harm in that. Only one caution about blambling. I remember my aunt telling me a couple of years ago -" I have lost quite few of my friends to the computer.' Yes, that could/does happen.

3. Putting the final tweaks on the cover-design for my new story cd. Now the Labor is done, Birth is next, It takes a week for it to roll out and into my hands.



My sister Kathy loves to read. Its part of her nature. As a result she is an excellent guide to new and exciting experiences in books. I trust her recommendations implicitly.

She steered me to Elizabeth Peters and the world of Amelia Peabody, egyptologist extraordinary. That's a grand series of books that is still growing so I continue to adventure with Amelia. I particularly enjoy the recorded books versions.

And Kathy pointed out - The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Now there is an experience of adventure and history for you in the tales of time traveler, Clare, who leaves modern Boston behind when she slips through a portal back to Scotland at the time of the Battle of Culloden.

Well, last week I casually asked Kathy, "what are you reading?" and she told me about a new series she has come upon. The Rome Sub-rosa series by Stephen Saylor. Mysteries set in ancient Rome with "The Finder", a fictional detective who moves through historical times. Intriguing. "Ellouise, you have to read them in order if you want to get the history straight."

The librarian was amused as I ordered 7 books through library loan and checked out three books on the shelves in our library. And I have waited. Not as long as I expected. Today I received the notice - Roman Blood is waiting. I can get started in earnest. Its always exciting when I stand poised on the edge of a new world.

I have tested the waters with "The Finder", in a book of short stories at the early end of the series. I like the character but more I am interested in how Saylor portrays every day life in ancient times. And, how he sets his characters into real historical situations.

That's what I have loved about geneaology - what attracted me to it - you can take your band of ancestors at any period of history and see their world through the history of the times. You can create their story through the history they lived through.

When I was working with the librarian to set up the "holds" and "sends" I told her about my sister and how she leads me to good books to read.

"You are lucky to have such a good guide."

Yes! Thanks, Kathy!


A Housewarming Gift for Mary

Mary, a recently retired high school teacher, is the kind of English teacher you wish you had had - a creative and caring teacher and storyteller - - and she is fun. Her students left her classes with their pumps primed to love literature and story the rest of their lives.

Mary, a grand storyteller in MO,has moved into a very special new house - one she has planned for and dreamed about for months. Storytellers are sending her gifts of story to warm her fireside.

Here is a new story for Mary's housewarming - that will also be a gift for my family.

Daddy’s Kites

Ellouise Schoettler © 2008

March winds were blowing. Sunny pre-spring days. A good week-end to go out.

Daddy decided to make some kites – special kites.

He straightened metal coat hangers, used his soldering iron to hold them together – absolutely. No broken sticks in the gusty winds.

He cut the bodies from newspaper and fitted them on.

Tied on rags and strings and we were ready.

We lived in an apartment with no yard so we had to find an open field – one with no trees.

Mama and Daddy, my sisters and I piled into the car and rode out Central Avenue. To us it seemed like a far, far distance – into the country.

We came to a cleared area – with a road in through the middle of it. Daddy turned in.

He and mother looked around. There were stakes and strings marking off areas. They must be staking it out for lots for houses, they decided.

It was perfect for a good Sunday afternoon of kite flying.

We had plenty of room to run ahead of the kite to launch it and then they sailed into the sky – carrying the news from the Charlotte News and the Charlotte Observer over our heads.

Mama and Daddy walked around the lots. They dreamed of having their own house – ‘right here.” They agreed on a spot they liked.

It was a grand afternoon.

Several weeks later – Daddy told us.

"I drove out Central Avenue today and when I passed by that place where we flew our kites – they have put up a sign>"

“what is it Robert – how many houses are they building there?"

“Louie – its not houses they are building. They have marked off plots. It’s a cemetery.”

We all laughed.

"Its going to be Evergreen Cemetary."

Twenty years ago, that's about forty years later, before they needed it but when they were planning for their futures, my mother and father bought one of those plots in Evergreen Cemetary.

Daddy said – "It will be our permanent home.”

Everytime I visit him at Evergreen Cemetary I think of that wonderful Sunday afternoon, flying home made kites and picking out a homeplace.


Scary Surprise.

When Jim picked up his messages Sunday evening there was a call from American Express asking him to call back. Something about our account.

He did. The first I knew of it was a call from downstairs, "Ellouise, pick up the phone." His tone of voice said NOW.

I picked up. "Ellouise this woman says there are charges on your card that she needs you to approve." I was surprised. What had I purchased that would warrant an approval?

"Madam, " the voice spoke in the distinct English we recognize from Bombay. " Madam, give me the last four digits of your social security so we can verify who you are."

I did. "Madam there is a charge for $1,936 from ( a company I had never heard of. And a charge to United Airline for $4,000 for air line tickets. Are these your purchases?"

"No, I never heard of the first company and I am not going anywhere. I wish I were but I am not."

"We have not paid them. Our system tagged them as suspect so we could not pay them without your validating them as actually your chages."

"Well, those are not mine."

"No problem, Madam. And, we will cancel your card and re-issue with a new number. The card will be arriving over-night."

It was simple. Painless. And very scary.

Identity theft. False charges. It happens so quickly - so silently.

The new Americasn Express card arrived this afternoon. Ready to sign and use.

Maybe I will and maybe I won't.

In any event - thanks to American Express Security.

Without them we could have taken an unexpected flight into debt - without packing a bag.


Blackberries and Queen Anne's Lace

Sunny with blue skies so we decided to ride down the road to Yellow Hill Farm to pick blackberries.

The sun felt warm and the breezes were soft across our backs. As we stood next to the tall fences covered with blackberry vines the air smelled sweet. Jim reached in deep picking the berries and his arms came out without a scratch - these are thornless vines - no brambles.

The berries are just beginning to ripen. In another week the clusters will be darker and heavier - and sweeter.

Jim loved it and he picked a bunch.

Queen Anne's Lace grows wild along the road. I love this old fashioned flower for the delicate beauty it adds to rough spots and for the memories it carries.

Queen Anne's Lace grew wild in Granny's side yard. I picked it and brought bunches into the house. Then my aunt showed me something fascinating about the lovely flower head. She stuck a stem into a bottle of green ink and left it over-night. The next morning - magically the white flower head had turned green. She explained it was because the stems are hollow and they suck the colored ink of water into the head as it drinks the water. Later in Girl Scouts I learned that her trick works with food coloring too. I loved to color those flowers green, red or blue.

The Nat King Cole song - The Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer - is one of my favorites. That's how this afternoon felt. Slowing down. Enjoying being - just being.

Like kids do.


Attitude is Everything

A few weeks ago I set a googe alert for frugal shopping. I wanted to learn how - get tips - feel motivated to be more frugal. So now I receive a list of frugal posts everyday.

Most are tips on how to clip coupons and save or how to pare down your life stye - with a heavy bent toward "giving-up" stuff. They feel more like deprived tather than frugal.Many of these call up familiar feelings of being a child who rarely had coins jingling in my pocket. I was getting discouraged.

But today's alert yielded a real prize. And its all in the way she puts it. On My Money and My Life - her post for today - 20 Reasons Frugal Living Makes Me Happy - made me feel good as I read it and I began to think about what I could do.

I read a few more of her posts. In July she wrote 4 Lazy Ways To Be More Green and Frugal.

This blog is keeper.

She reminds me - it's all in how I look at it - not just frugal and green - but how I look at life.


Fairy Tales

And some say Fairy Tales are too violent for children? How else do you prepare them to live in a world gone mad.

I heard this first - at least five times in my kitchen - from CNN Breaking News -

PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Manitoba (July 31) - A traveler aboard a Greyhound bus repeatedly stabbed and then decapitated his seat mate, pausing during the savage attack in central Canada to display the head to passengers who had fled in horror, witnesses and officials said Thursday. (from AP, world news - copied from AOL front page.)

Then read it on the AOL front page.

What's to say?

So - moving on and looking for an escape from the madness of reality -

Jim and I watched a fairy tale movie last night. My latest netflix selection. Kate and Leopold. Meg Ryan, paired with princely Hugh Jackman, plays her usual funny, pathetic young woman. In this instance she is a successful and unfulfilled 2001 New York snappy career woman who meets a handsome guy - a displaced time traveler from 19th century New York - they find each other and romance - in the end he goes back and she jumps off the Brooklyn Bridge to join him for a bride's waltz. It was well-done. We enjoyed the fun.

Tonight we are in PA. It was dark when we parked in the drive-way and I have to tell you I was nervous. Visions of maniacs lurking in the overgrowth filled my head and I clutched my cell phone. Once safely inside we began to absorb the delicious quiet - - - - no TV ranting, no bad news from where ever they can find it. Its calming - sane.

After supper we turned to another fairy tale - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Karen watched it when she was here last week-end and left it in the dvd player - we did not even have to chose - just pushed play. But, as much as Jim and I both like the Harry Potter series, we decided to pause Harry until tomorrow because this is a "dark" film. Voldamort is on the loose - the dementors are hovering - whole bunches of trouble roam the land.

We trundle off to bed with our books - to read - ahhhhhhh. Yes, that's better. The rumble of the window air-conditioner soothes us as we settle down.

I am reading Kate Jacob's The Friday Night Knitting Club - a novel set in a knitting store (great location) in New York City - where a group of women gather to knit, share their lives and know each other. Its the same turf of Making an American Quilt and The Jane Austen Book Club - warm and familiar. I like it.

Another fairy-tale? Why not!