Saturday, January 14, 2017

What to do?

It is early, rainy, cold and deary.  Typical January.  Six am and I am the only one awake.

I was going to go buy groceries yesterday but it was so foggy, I reneged and bought a few things at the dollar general.  I could be to the store and back almost before anyone wakes.

Then I could read another book.  I have read a few this month that I really liked.  I just finished one, The Red Parts by Maggie  Nelson.  I thought it was a book about her Aunt's murder and the trial, decades later, of the Aunt's accused murderer.  It turned out to be more of a book about the author. I cannot recommend this book to anyone, as it would not fit most people's taste.  I did not especially like the book, but I did read most of it. There was not really that much of a story to the book.  It told about  her aunt but not really much about the trial.  I was impressed that the Aunt's family, including her father were not bent on revenge.  The father of the Aunt is quoted as saying he would so much rather have his daughter's killer say to him that he did it and go free than  to have an innocent man convicted of her murder.  Still, I cannot recommend this book to anyone.  If you want to read, and are out of material, give it a try. Do not buy it.

Then I read a book by Tony Danza, the actor about his year of teaching a sophomore English class in a large Pennsylvania school.  He was doing this for a reality show.  The show was cancelled, but he continued to the end of the year.  He is a good teacher, a good writer, and a good person. Well, I cannot be sure of the good writer.  He may have had help with that, and he had help with the teacher part, but at the end, did very well as a teacher.  I can recommend this book to both my living sisters.  My dead sister would say the whole thing was a put up job.  That might be, but it was a good read.

Now I am reading, West with the Night, by Beryl Markham. I recommend Sister Betty buy this book and when she is through reading it, give it to her sister.  Sister will keep until she dies and pass it to Emmy and Hannah in her will.

Beryl, 1902-1986 was one of the first African bush pilots.  Her stories are wonderfully written, the material foreign and interesting.  But it is the writing itself that is so  memorial.  Ernest Hemingway said:
...She has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer. I felt that I was simply a carpenter with words, picking up whatever was furnished on the job and nailing them together and sometimes making an okay pig pen.

I googled her and found speculation that she had a husband ghost writer on the book.  She never wrote anything else exciting.  And, as I read the book, I have to keep reminding myself the author is a  she.  I read another review that said this same thing.  Matters not to the reader who the writer might be.  What is writ is what is read.  What is writ in this book is marvelously writ.

Here are a few quotes I have writ from the book.

Smothering reason with a wish.
Much of Kenya's future was already the past of other places.
Death will have his moment of respect however he comes anlong, and no matter on what living thing he lays his hand.
If a man has any greatness in him, it comes to light not in one flamboyant hour, but in the ledger of his daily work.
What a child does not know and does not want to know of race and colour and class he learns sure enough as he grows to see each man flipped inexplicably into some predestined groove like a penny or a sovereign in a banker's rack.

And there is a wonderful passage about destiny
“I am incapable of a profound remark on the workings of Destiny. It seems to get up early and go to bed very late, and it acts most generously toward the people who nudge it off the road whenever they meet it.”

I think now I will go for groceries and finish this book tonight.

Quote, Quote

Or what I really said.

Betty said that I said that today we are not training up our children.  I said exactly the opposite.

The maxim goes, train up a child in the way he should go and he shall not depart from it.

I said the problem today is that so many children are going exactly the way they are trained to go by their parents and they cannot depart from it.  Maybe it is not the way we think one should go, or the way one should be trained up, but it is the way children of today are being trained up that has gotten us to this place.

Children of today, and yesterday, mostly go the way their parents went.

At one time I had two daughters in law, now I have none.  One followed her mother's example into a drugged out life, leaving her children to their own devices almost from their first breaths, and then dying at a young age.  Her life the every image of her mother's.  The other has chosen a path so like her mother's that to know one's story is to know the other's.

I have only to look at my sons' paths to know the truth of my own maxim.

A child will go the path he is trained up to go and will not depart from it.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Helen returns to the Rock Quary

Today, so I have to go to her house and let the heat out to the living room.

Yesterday, I walked 4 miles to the red barn and back, but that was the first walk since last Tuesday.  Too busy and too cold.

Helen has given me a number that I can download ebooks from the library out where she is now.  I can also download ebooks for our local library which is connected to the download library for the whole state of Arkansas.  When I go to our library site, it says the Arkansas state library has a little more than 15,000 ebooks available.  Helen's little library has over 71,000 books available.  Still, I have read most of the books I want to read from either library.  Currently I am on a waiting list at both libraries for the Alexander Hamilton book.  I always thought of Alexander Hamilton as an aristocrat, but in reality he was a penniless starving orphan from Barbados.  I have been on the western sky list for about a month and am still far from the top.  I added my name to the Arkansas list this morning.  There are 32 people waiting here.  I will see which one I get first.

I just read The Invisible Wall by Harry Bernstein.  It is about growing up Jewish in England in the early 1900,  It is a very good book.  Harry wrote it when he was in his 90's.  He wrote a couple more before he died in 2011.  After I read or not the 3 I have downloaded now, I am going to see if they have his other books,

Last night I made pork steaks and fired potatoes.  I love fried potatoes.  They were not all eaten, so I am having fried potatoes for breakfast.  Today I am making chicken and homemade noodles for Helen and Hannah. They both love homemade noodles in our chicken and noodles.  I prefer boughten noodles for both taste and convenience.

Here comes the sun.  Time to get busy,

Good time to read...

Because it is colder than cold.

This was Helen's house Friday morning as I went to work.  Outside 14 degrees, inside 40 degrees.  That is with the heat shut off to this room.  Not too bad.

Yesterday at 7:30,

Outside 6 degrees, inside 35.  My thermometer at my house said 8.  My truck agreed.  After checking her house, I went looking for pictures.  At the top of Meek hill it was 5 degrees and dropped to 4 down by Coin.  At the top of Morris Hill, it was 2 degrees.

I saw several Eagles, lots of Hawks, and a buzzard sitting in a tree. Buzzards are always flying or eating on the ground, never just sitting.

Over by Peden's chicken houses.

Flying away.  The eagles usually sit and ignore me, the hawks often fly away before I can get a picture.

Juvenile eagles over the top of Penden's chicken houses.

Buzzard, just waiting for warmer weather.

Hawk being harassed by the crows.

Eagle at the top of Morris hill, out in the field.

Home, far, far away.


And Goats getting fed.