Friday, April 30, 2021

Poem for Friday and My Cats

Peacock Island
By Jennifer Kronovet

From the island
he saw the castle

and from the castle
he saw the island.

Some people live
this way—wife/

But this story isn’t

the one I’m telling.
From the island

he saw the castle
and that made him

distant from power
and from the castle

he saw the island
and that made him distant

from imagining
what power can do.

The story I’m telling is
the war coming.

How can you go from
island to castle to island

to castle and not give
birth to a war? No.

I still can’t explain it.


It was very hot on Thursday -- felt like summer -- and most of what I did was unexciting busy work and chores. Our two older cats had a late afternoon appointment with the vet -- Dr. Perl makes house calls and is an extremely nice man -- so although Cinnamon has kidney issues and Daisy once again has an ear infection, it sounds like things aren't as bad as we feared last weekend and Cinnamon probably just ate something that disagreed with her. So we are very relieved! 

We took a walk after the vet, talked to a neighbor who's been ill, and we just spent the evening sitting with the cats watching the first round of the NFL Draft, which was weirdly relaxing because I did not care at all about any of it, apart from being pleased that both the Ravens' picks were from Big 10 schools; in general the conference was well-represented. Here are a few random recent photos of the cats, since I haven't posted any in my blog in a while: 

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Thursday, April 29, 2021

Lyrics for Thursday and Baltimore Penguins

By Ed Sheeran
Met her smoking a cigarette
In  a toilet cubicle
Red  dress, tattooed chest
She's beautiful
This ain't the time or place to start a future
But  darling I don't care
Broken  hearts can find a love
To make them whole anywhere

Oh  darling, here we go again
We are only man or woman
And we all make mistakes
Don't you know we're only human
It's  what our hardships say
And when I heard those words and knew them
I could feel your pain
Cause I have felt the same

She said we are penguins on the ice
We're not meant to fly
But god knows we can try
Oh, I see a hope that's in her eyes
Can you feel the love in mine?

She told about her mum and dad
And they sound just like mine
Day by day, exchanging names
We're two souls intertwined
We have both got it wrong
From time to time and let that go
With each other, hand in hand
As we mend broken souls

Darling, here we go again
We are only blood and bones
That cover beating hearts
Scarred by sticks and stones
But we know who we are
I could put you back together
When you come apart
We should make a start now

And it feels like we felt serenity
And some things are not what they seem
My love, right now it's only you and me

She said we are penguins on the ice
We're not meant to fly
But god knows we can try
Oh, I see a hope that's in your eyes
Can you feel the love in mine?


As usual for me these Wednesdays, I had a lovely chat online with my three best high school friends -- one had to go for a while because Jane Goodall was giving a speech in her son's online class and another got several phone calls from out of town relatives, so there were several points when I was only talking to one or another and we covered lots of subjects -- I even got to see one's daughter doing research on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico! 

It was over 85 degrees, so we walked in the late afternoon and had Beyond Burgers for dinner. Then we watched The Masked Singer (a recap show, but still enjoyable) before Biden's address to the joint session of Congress, which I enjoyed much more than I expected -- I loved seeing Harris and Pelosi behind him and I appreciate how progressive his agenda is! Here are some of the penguins at the Maryland Zoo the weekend before last: 







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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Poem for Wednesday and Garrett Park Azaleas

By Mary Oliver
The oaks shone
gaunt gold
on the lip
of the storm before
the wind rose,
the shapeless mouth
opened and began
its five-hour howl;
the lights
went out fast, branches
sidled over
the pitch of the roof, bounced
into the year
that grew black
within minutes, except
for the lightening - the landscape
bulging forth like a quick
lesson in creating, then
thudding away. Inside,
as always,
it was hard to tell
fear from excitement:
how sensual
the lightning’s
poured stroke! and still,
what a fire and a risk!
As always the body
wants to hide,
wants to flow toward it - strives
to balance while
fear shouts,
excitement shouts, back
and forth - each
bolt a burning river
tearing like escape through the dark
field of the other.


I had trouble keeping my eyes open most of the day on Tuesday, and I'm not sure whether this is a delayed vaccine reaction or delayed cat stress; I think I slept okay overnight and I didn't have too much sugar or caffeine on Monday or anything. So I feel like I got nothing done, apart from enjoying the weather and dyeing my roots, which were not artfully gray but icky beige. 

My Voyager-watching group watched "Alliances" which is just as bad as I'd remembered from previous viewings -- tempers flare, bad decisions are made, Janeway makes a very sanctimonious speech. Supergirl was more fun with its high school flashback and alien invaders despite a lack of Lena. Here are some azalea photos from our visit to Garrett Park last weekend: 

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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Poem for Tuesday and Lake Whetstone Goslings

Fragment: Questions
By Percy Bysshe Shelley

Is it that in some brighter sphere
We part from friends we meet with here?
Or do we see the Future pass
Over the Present’s dusky glass?
Or what is that that makes us seem
To patch up fragments of a dream,
Part of which comes true, and part
Beats and trembles in the heart?


It was a quiet Monday around here, gorgeous weather, the entire neighborhood covered in azaleas. I didn't get a lot done besides laundry and catching up on the news, but that's fine. It was a great day for walking and for sorting photos, so I did some of both. Paul made homemade macaroni and cheese with fake chicken for dinner and we had half-price Easter Cadbury creme eggs for dessert. 

Evening TV included The Nethers, which has several female characters I absolutely love so I'm ignoring the series creator, and Debris, which was absolutely fantastic so I looked to see how the ratings have been and wished I hadn't -- typical sci-fi on major network problems despite really nicely developed central characters. Goslings from Lake Whetstone over the weekend: 








Monday, April 26, 2021

Greetings from Glenstone

Cinnamon woke up demanding food and complaining when Katniss got in her face, so although she's still a cranky 20-year-old with arthritis, we think whatever was going on with her the other night was caused by food or something. She is seeing the vet on Thursday so we may know more then, but she doesn't seem to be particularly uncomfortable or unhappy and she's angry when someone tries to steal her treats, so that's all good. 

In all the distraction, I forgot that we had tickets for the Glenstone Museum on Sunday, and we can't get tickets for May or June so we figured we'd go see the Faith Ringgold exhibit, which is superb, a retrospective of her career that includes protest art, storytelling quilts, and a full set of the abstract art she produced after her mother's death. We also saw a heron, a wild turkey, a turtle, a snake, and lots of birds. 

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We came home so I could snuggle Cinnamon while watching the low-key Academy Awards pre-show, then the Oscars, which were a letdown in every way except Daniel Kaluuya and Chloe Zhao's wins and Yuh-Jung Youn's speech. I really missed the clips of the short films (I don't need to know about the filmmakers' childhoods, I need to know if I want to see their movies) and the Oscar tunes bit was so contrived it was embarrassing. 

The In Memoriam in a year of so many losses seemed rushed in a show that didn't rush excessively long speeches, and I'm mystified by the decision to announce Best Picture (at least it wasn't Promising Young Woman, but I haven't seen Nomadland) before Best Actor and Actress. I thought they might be saving Chadwick Boseman for an emotional evening end, but they gave both those awards to famous white actors who've won before, urgh. 


Sunday, April 25, 2021

Greetings from Lakes Whetstone and Washingtonian

Our 20-year-old cat Cinnamon was very sick last night -- she really hadn't eaten all day and had thrown up a lot of what she did eat, but at about 2 a.m. she was standing by the water fountain making miserable noises and we thought the worst. She was calmer in the morning though did not eat breakfast, so I spent all morning trying to track down a vet who would make a house call on the weekend since the emergency vets won't let family members come in with pets and Cinnamon is terrified of both car rides and vets. No one could come, but while I was researching, Cinnamon ate her lunch and some treats and drank plenty of water and looked and sounded much better. So she still has a vet appointment next week, but tonight she is basically her old senior-cat self, and we are very relieved she is not in pain. 

We went out to make a couple of stops and discovered that the local geese have started having goslings! We saw at least three families at Washingtonian Lake (there were several adults supervising over a dozen chicks in the grass, plus some in the water) and three families on the boat house side of Lake Whetstone, where we also saw turtles, cormorants, herons in nests in the trees, and a pair of snakes that a little girl pointed out to us. After dinner we Zoomed (well, Google Met) with our kids, who will both be vaccinated in a week, yay! We watched Netflix's show about Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret before SNL, which we didn't realize was a rerun, and now we're very tired from being up very late with Cinnamon who is alternately sleeping and catching up on eating -- she just had 15 treats, which is a lot for her. 









Saturday, April 24, 2021

Greetings from Maryland

I had a quiet Friday morning doing chores and catching up on reading, then after lunch I went with Paul to a Walgreens on the border of Hyattsville so he could get his second vaccine shot. It was a gorgeous day and I walked down to the edge of the Riversdale park while he was waiting his 15 minutes, and we had to drive through College Park to get there. Then we stopped at the food store on the way home to get the cheese that failed to appear in our delivery order. 

Evening TV was, of course, the season finale of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which was very satisfying though two things happened that I was hoping against hope wouldn't though it seemed probable that they would. I will write more about the whole show at length later. Right now we're watching the end of the first season of The Irregulars, which has great kids but I really can't say I like this Sherlock or Watson. Maryland birds at the Maryland Zoo: