I’m back from my week-long, semi-Internetless vacation in the northlands of Wisconsin—and for those of you who weren’t aware I’d left, raspberries to you I have plenty of photos and mosquito bites to prove it.
This week, I thought I’d go on with more of Clyota’s lawyer, because she’s a hoot to write and if I ever have cause to need a lawyer conversant in capital crimes, I’d want her.
Samantha resumed her seat behind the desk, her dress swirling around her before settling into becoming folds. “So . . . Lieutenant William Strapton-Hardcastle died on your living room floor, and thank the Deity of Your Choice that he wasn’t on active duty at the time, or this would be even messier, but as it is, there will be a WASA rep or two in the courtroom—double jeopardy applies to the murder charge, but there are lots of different ways to get around that.”
She took a deep breath and gave me a direct look from her startling green-gold eyes. “So . . . did you kill him?”
“No,” I said.
She nodded. “Christina told me you hadn’t,” she said, “at great, loud length. You wouldn’t happen to know who did?”
Watson and I sneaked/snucked/snacked over to the Mocha Moose Cafe this afternoon so I could get my Internet fix* and she could get a caramel macchiato.
I know it’s Poetry Wednesday, but I’m pre-empting it this week because the only poem that comes readily to mind** is a canine-centered parody of Joyce Kilmer’s “Trees” that I heard once and no one needs that.***
Instead, I thought I’d share a montage of the vacation so far, with—and I can see your surprise from here—commentary.
I know I joked about the wilds of Wisconsin, mostly because no one told me exactly where we were going, but our Cabin In The Woods is actually a nice-sized cottage on the waterway between Eagle and Otter Lakes near Rhinelander, “Home of The Hodag,” about which more later.
The interior is sort of Hunter’s Eclectic:
Or, as Watson put it, “Vegan Nightmare,”^ but underneath the fur accents, it’s a great place.
The place does come with a wonderful writing spot. I owe seven pages to the glider to the right of the swing—and to a generous application of Deep Woods Off, I won’t lie.
There’s a great view of the river from there,^^ and If I’m very still, the chipmunk who lives in the tree to the left will come down and investigate the firepit, until I do something dumb, like lift the camera to take a picture of him.
But I can still see boats of all types passing through on their way to and from the lakes.
Jada The Dog likes to share the spot with me, though she wishes we hadn’t left her outdoor dog bed back home:
She’s been enjoying the outdoor smells—checking her pee-mail, as Janie says all too often—and receiving a daily foot massage, while Sunny entertains her with a display of modern dance and bubble-wand mastery.
It’s a dog’s life, isn’t it?
But we humans are having our own kind of fun, too. We rented a boat yesterday—pontoon, not pirate—and went out on a three-hour tour of the various lakes.
The First Law of Vacation.^^
Some of the boats tend to ignore these and zip through our waterway, regardless, inspiring the new family saying:
Don’t be a waker!
Works on all kinds of levels doesn’t it?
Here’s a requisite landscape shot, which never does much for anyone unless it’s taken in Hawaii, but it’s my blog and it was a stunning day, and this is only one of the thirty or so I took, so there and count yourselves lucky:
The kids had their own idea about what constituted a stunning sight:
Don’t take any wooden eagles!
Seriously. The owners don’t like that.
The area is called Eagle River, and the motif is, unsurprisingly, everywhere. But they call it that for a good reason—right across the waterway in front of my writing spot is a bald eagle nest. I’ve seen them swoop into the trees from overhead—again, stunning.
We also had our first bonfire the other night. My Dad, the Eagle Scout Leader, built the fire after a few false starts.
Success! And popcorn!
That’s what I’m talking about.
And now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to take a page out of Watson’s book—not literally, because it’s from my library and checked out on my card—and watch a little scenery between long, slow blinks.~
*My phone allows me to check my e-mail and occasionally check blogs, but gets testy when I try to reply or comment, so if I owe you one or the other, my sincere apologies—I’ll try to get to everything before the family notices we’re missing we have to get back.
**Not entirely true, but I’m saving the other for next week, because it deserves its own post.
***In case I’m wrong, it’s the one that starts, “I think that I shall never pee/on anything as lovely as a tree . . . ” and degenerates from there. Google the rest, ’cause I’m on the clock, here.
^We were going to put a drip pan under the bear’s mouth as a joke, but thought it might freak out Sunny.
^^Except for this one young tree that I would cut down in a minute if this were my property and I didn’t feel so terrible for even thinking things like, “I’m all for the environment, but it’s blocking my view.”
^^^I’m planning on finding one of these for the couch back home, because my kids still have no respect for the sanctity of naps.
~While my kids—according to my husband, who is texting me images as I type—are out enjoying themselves in their own way:
Quick Random Thursday this time, as I’m running around throwing things into several suitcases, doing one last load of laundry, and packing I’m Boooooored Travel Bags for me the kids.
Just in case you missed Tuesday’s post and Wednesday’s heads-up, this may be the last post I’ll be able to do for about a week, unless the house we’ve rented miraculously has Wifi, or there’s a convenient hotspot within reasonable distance.*
If Verizon can find me, I’ll probably be able to reply to comments and e-mail through my phone, but I don’t think I have it in me to type out whole posts with my thumbs.
This is supposed to be a vacation, after all.
Oh, mercy, here come the shakes again . . .
Taking Steps to Brilliant Bookends (or vice versa)
But it was his bookends—or bookstops, really—that I’m coveting:
See those leaves? See how they keep the books upright? See how the books form a literary railing?
Where did he getthose?
He made ’em himself out of dowels and curtain rod ends, and stuck ’em in the bannister spindle holes.
I want do do this so much, but that would mean either moving, adding a floor to the house, or building a staircase to nowhere.
Guess we’ll see how much of the Summer is left, once I get the garage cleaned out . . .
I’d never heard of Hot Toys, a Hong Kong company that makes hyper-real 1/6-scale limited-edition figurines for serious collectors—or kids with seriously indulgent parents.**
But I’ve heard of them now. And I want this one:
Click the image for a slideshow of the amazing details—this guy comes with Captain America Trading Cards***
Before you start that comment telling me I’ve finally gone ’round the bend,^ at least one other person thinks these miniAgents are the bee’s knees:
But this does leave me with one question: Will Hot Toys be doing one for Clint Barton, too?
‘Cause I only really need one kidney . . .
Random Crocheted Turtle Cozy!
My kids, who are waaaay more into MarioKart than I am (I blame Watson), immediately knew this was a Bowser-themed turtle sweater.
I just wanted to make one for All the Box Turtles, so they would be nice and comfy when they hibernated this winter.^^
(but only if there are knitting instructions, too, because crocheting and I aren’t friends^^^)
Seattle Public Library:
Unlike Mike, the Seattle Public Library only wanted to keep their books upright just long enough to break he world’s record and score some great PR for their Summer Reading Program.
I’m not just envious of the stunt, I’m envious of all that gorgeous space they had to stage it!
Four people sent me this yesterday, including two librarians who thought it was awesome. All of my co-workers thought it was great, too, especially the Youth Services people.
But when I showed it to my boss, she said, “That’s great, but who’s going to get all those books back on the shelves?”
Maybe that’s part of the halfway prize in the Reading Program?
*Of course, I’m bringing my laptop along—for writing, thank you very much, though I’m packing my legal pads, and favorite pens, too-. I’m too paranoid to leave it behind, sitter or no sitter.
*Not me, no way, no how. I don’t actually know how much Hot Toys are, but I assume they’re on the extortionate end of the collectible figure range and, as I commented yesterday on SMBT’s post about the Romance Novel Barbie & Ken set, my kids would have any limited edition I bring home, regardless of price or character, out of the box and indoctrinated into the Barbie Nudist Colony™ in their playroom before I could scream, “Collectors Edition!”
**If you don’t know why that’s absolutely perfect, go watch the first Iron Man, selected scenes from Thor(YouTube ’em), and The Avengers. And then come back and squee with me.
***And by the way, oh please, that bend was three bends ago—my brain is like NASCAR in a metaphorical canoe.
^”But Sarah,” you may be saying, “turtles are cold-blooded! Sweaters will have no effect on them.” To which I reply: I don’t knit sweaters to keep others warm. I am a mother—I knit sweaters for others because I feel cold on their behalf.
^^Ironically, there are too many random loops for me and I’m never sure which one I should be, for want of a better term, hooking.
Here come real stars to fill the upper skies, And here on earth come emulating flies, That though they never equal stars in size, (And they were never really stars at heart) Achieve at times a very star-like start. Only, of course, they can’t sustain the part.
—“Fireflies in the Garden,” Robert Frost
After a week of blue skies and high temperatures—and two weeks of underfoot children—I’m ready to tentatively concede that Summer is finally, finally here. For real.
This calls for a poem or two, y’all.
In slight concession to indy clause, who challenged me to a Poem-Offas a birthday present, I’ve chosen a couple favorites from the 19th Century. including the one above, which proves that Robert Frost did have a whimsical side.
John Keats . . . didn’t, much, but when someone writes stuff as good as this, who cares?*
On the Grasshopper and Cricket
The Poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper’s—he takes the lead
In summer luxury,—he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,
The Grasshopper’s among some grassy hills.
George Moses Horton will get his own post soon—poets work hard, but few have ever worked as hard as he did—but for today, I’ll just share his description of summer:
(George Moses Horton)
Esteville begins to burn;
The auburn fields of harvest rise;
The torrid flames again return,
And thunders roll along the skies.
Perspiring Cancer lifts his head, And roars terrific from on high; Whose voice the timid creatures dread; From which they strive with awe to fly.
The night-hawk ventures from his cell, And starts his note in evening air; He feels the heat his bosom swell, Which drives away the gloom of fear.
Thou noisy insect, start thy drum; Rise lamp-like bugs to light the train; And bid sweet Philomela come, And sound in front the nightly strain.
The bee begins her ceaseless hum, And doth with sweet exertions rise; And with delight she stores her comb, And well her rising stock supplies.
Let sportive children well beware, While sprightly frisking o’er the green; And carefully avoid the snare, Which lurks beneath the smiling scene.
The mistress bird assumes her nest, And broods in silence on the tree, Her note to cease, her wings at rest, She patient waits her young to see.
I may not be able to post next Wednesday, due to imminent vacation. I’m sure you’re all heartbroken, but I hope indy will pick up the slack over at her place with more contemporary summer offerings.
*This also gives Christina Rosetti a pass, in my opinion—and also because her few attempts at childlike whimsy remind me of Morticia Addams reading “The Cat in the Hat” to preschoolers. I’m saving her for Halloween. Thomas Hardy does not get a pass—which should surprise no one who knows me—because Ms. Rosetti, like Emily Dickenson—and Morticia Addams—can examine death from all angles (or angle-worms, for that matter) without depressing the living hell out of me.