Thursday, August 27, 2009

Leave Honey on Your Skin

A while ago, my short story Leave Honey on Your Skin was made into a short animated film -
We've officially gotten past all the Do Not Post deadlines.
Post post post away to your heart's content!

Here is the link:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Chigger season

Well, August is flying by! I had a lovely week vacation at the seaside - the weather was incredible and I took my daughter to the races and yearling sales and we saw some lovely horses. (and there was polo, of course, as my husband is working there until the end of the month!) Then it was back home to another marathon week of work, which Imanaged to wrap up yesterday, so I'm going to putter about today and maybe look wistfully ut the wiondow and think of going into the garden - but I won't. It's fall, and that means the chiggers and spiders are out in swarms and I am literally bitten up all over - and the bites itch. Oh well - now I'm waiting impatiently for the first freeze - I think I'll still be alive by then, lol. The dry, very hot weather has aggravated the chigger condition, and I have to stop wanting to do gardening work - everything is burnt dry as straw anyway - but the other day I wanted to harvest my lavender and my silver dollar plants (the lavender goes in a big bowl in the kitchen and gets turned into sachets or I use it to freshen the vacuume cleaner. And the silver dollar plants are so pretty when you pick them at the right time - you get a huge lovely bouquet to last the winter. )And so I'm covered with bites, lol.And just an aside - My cousin gave me the most wonderful tea - one for the morning (Earl Gray - French Blue, it's called) and one for the night called Red Nile - Rooisbus with Marigold) So I sit at my desk with a pot of fragrant tea. It's quite a change from my mug of coffee!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

the strangest title for an article...

I wasn't looking for strange titles, but when I read this one, I thought maybe I was having some sort of LSD flashback. (I didn't ever take LSD, to chicken, but I'm sure that if I had, and had a flashback, it owuld have felt like this.
The title of the article is in the NY Times and reads:

Snorkel Genes Help Deepwater Rice Survive

And if you don't believe me, go look.

Can anyone find a stranger one than that?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Will those of you who believe he's guilty, raise your hand...

But first read this - it's quite unbelievable.

I don't know how many of you remember the Lockerbie bombing. I do, because actually a group of school kids on that flight were from a town right next to mine in NY. It was horrific, and I remember scanning the news and feeling nothing but relief when the bomber was brought to justice. Then, a few days ago, I read the bomber was being released. At first I was horrified, then I read he had only three months to live, and compassion won. I thought to myself, 'well, it's not as if he's getting out of jail free'. I kept reading articles, and a few things caught my eye. For one, he's always protested his innocence. Well, most murderers do, I believe, so that didn't really bother me. What bothered me was the coincidence of an American capt. who shot down a plane full of civilans about a year prior to that - the plane was Iranian. The incident was murky, and the capt. got a medal, if you can believe that. And, another article posted this link, (link above) that I put off reading for some reason until today, and the bomber was released. Then I decided I wanted to know more...

The article makes horrifying reading. And when I was done, I was glad the man was back in Libya - at home.

That spider was SO big...

I love the end of summer, except for one thing. In the fall, the spiders appear. And it's the survival of the fittest here in our lovely countryside. Only the biggest, strongest ones make it until September. And the biggest and the strongest are the ones you notice the most - especially if it's climbing up your white curtain.

We have loads of spiders here - from taratula-sized brown house spiders to spindly daddy long-legs (that we all played with as children - you don't find out how poisonous they are until you start reading scientific journals, and the reasurance that 'they can't possibly inject their poison into a human' is scant comfort) to brightly-colored crab spiders of yellow, pink and bright green (depending which flower it's crouched in), to tiger-striped orb spiders, and the huge, gray web-spinners that scare you silly until you realize 'That's Charlotte of Charlotte's web!' (they still scare me silly).
I have arachnephobia, and even though I try my hardest to convince myself that spiders are 'Our Friends' - whenever I see one I want to sprint away, and if one accidently lands on me, I swear I could beat Bolt's best 100 meter dash time with no problem, probably running backwards with my eyes shut.

Today I saw a huge house spider (perfectly harmless I Know that!) Crawling up my curtain.

That spider was So big - it didn't fit into the vacuum-cleaner tube. It's legs hung way out and I had a fit of the willies as I tried to cram it down the tube and vacuum it up.

Other spiders that were so big...

That spider was So big I thought it was my son's plastic toy spider and almost reached over to pick it up. It moved. So did I - levitating to the ceiling then flying to the kitchen where I grabbed the first thing (a flyswatter on the chair) I managed to kill the creature minutes before the real estate agent walked in to show the house.

That spider was so big it was drinking out of the dog's dish in the kitchen. A St. Thomas tarantula. When it's sitting on your homework, you get a note from your mother explaining to your teacher why you didn't bring your homework in - and the teacher understood.

That spider was so big it covered a whole paragraph of the book I was reading. My son had just tipped it onto my book with a pleased "Look what I found mommy!" I slammed the book shut before it skittered off onto my lap. It was just nerves. My son, who loves spiders, never did forgive me.

That spider was so big that when it fell into my sister-in-law's suitcase, she slapped it shut then looked at me. We were staying with our inlaws for the weekend. "I'll lend you clothes," I said. She gave the suitcase, still shut, to her concierge to unpack. (along with a huge tip).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The end of Summer

We're having a heat wave - it hasn't been so hot in ages, and we can't water gardens or wash our cars. I actually don't mind the heat - but it is odd to see the grass and leaves turning brown so soon. Autumn seems to be already here. The sunsets are yellow, dust hangs in the air. The feilds are bare - shaved of their crops, and there is a quiet, end-of-summer feeling in the village. Even the dogs are too hot to bark. Pretty soon the village children will be back from their vacations and there will be shouting, the sounds of skate boards and bike bells, and by then the chestnuts will be ripe and so will the apples. I never liked spring much - but I love the end of summer. The ground is so hard it might be frozen, and the sky, in the afternoon, is a blue teacup overhead. Heat mirages shimmer on the road and rooftops, and the dogs won't leave the hallway, lying on the cool tiles all day long, only moving to change position - from back to side to stomach - with wagging tails to chase away the sleepy wasps.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The market in Houlgate (by Gustave Eiffel)

We were staying in the village of Houlgate last week, and I went to the covered market. The strawberry vendor told me all about the market building - seems it was designed by Gustave Eiffel! From towers in Paris to bridges in Spain, to markets in Houlgate...

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Thursday, August 06, 2009