Button Sunday

I don’t know why this button makes me laugh so hard, but so be it.

Early afternoon one day, Jim and I were sitting in the office drinking coffee and talking when I spotted a female cardinal under one of our trees. Jim turned around to watch for her and was rewarded by the sight of her mate in his gorgeous redness. He’d never seen a cardinal “in person,” so hey, Houndstooth Hall is like a nature preserve. (We won’t talk about the sighting of the palmetto bug about the size of the cardinal…)

The day we went to Body Mind & Soul, I was studying the shelves of Tarot and other cards to see if anything caught my eye–and the animal spirit guide deck did. There was an open box for interested shoppers, and when I turned the deck over, the card on top was the Cardinal. Jim and I locked surprised eyes; Debby spotted an unopened deck; and Jim made a gift of it to me. Now I need to learn how to read and lay out this deck in my leisure time. (ha ha, leisure time, so funny)

Welcome to the new age

One of the days that Jim was here, he, Debby, and I went out to lunch at another new-to-me place, House of Fries, who makes up in burger tastiness what it lacks in ambiance, proving once again that my parents were right when they stopped at unprepossessing eateries on trips because “that’s where the best food is.” While we were there, Debby said it sounded like the restaurant had hacked into my phone’s playlist, which currently leans heavily toward One Republic and Imagine Dragons (from whom I borrowed the title of this post). I told them that while Tom and I were on our trip, I realized that something I’d done to the phone had muted the sound on the car stereo, and Tom said, “It’s okay. We just missed a lot of Coldplay.” Shortly after that story, the restaurant played “Viva la Vida,” so maybe Debby was right. Thieves!

Among other things we did that afternoon was visit our favorite Body Mind & Soul. It’s a seductive store for me because of its serene atmosphere and the beauty of everything there and how invitingly it’s displayed. I want to BUY BUY BUY. As long as I can find one item that entices me and focus on it, I’m usually safe. This time it was a lovely selenite wand in a pencil shape. First, I love pencils, and second, I love the look and feel of this delicate form of gypsum. And I love that when I bought it, the woman checking me out took out her chime (a somewhat larger version of my own) and cleared the crystal. No merchant has ever done that for me before. Nice touch, BM&S!

There are lots of places to read more about the metaphysical properties of selenite on the Internet–GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND. For me, it’s already started being a self-soothing tool for excessive tension in my neck and shoulders and a thankfully brief headache.

I guess this post is sort of a thank you note to Selene, Greek goddess of the full moon, for lending her name and energy to selenite. I do love the moon. And I love the memory of shopping with Debby and Jim.

The pie and coffee’s on you


One evening in Southern California Jim was watching the news when they did a feature on Houston’s Flying Saucer Pie Company. He asked if I’d ever been. When I said no, he told me to put it on the agenda. (I’m supposed to make notes between Jim’s visits of stuff he and I think we’d like to do when we’re together again.) I added it to the list.

Coincidentally, Lynne had bought a couple of pies from there to take to a meeting and what wasn’t eaten she brought here to share with us. We learned that Flying Saucer makes all their pies from scratch without weird additives or preservatives, so they need to be eaten within a couple of days, and some won’t do well refrigerated. After sampling Lynne’s pies, we decided we should taste test a few more–you know, in the interest of science and research.

So this was another venture to a new-to-us place. I think the mural on the wall looks a little like Alien Gandhi, but maybe that’s just me.

Peach pie, apple pie, key lime pie–all thumbs up.

Even though I don’t have Showtime and can’t watch the continuation of Twin Peaks, I can at least enjoy three minutes of damn fine cups of coffee and miracle pie. And so can you.

Conquistador, your stallion stands…

In the purge of the carport bins, one of the first I went through was stuff I packed after my mother died. Debby was going to visit family, and I knew there were some University of Alabama sweatshirts and T-shirts her daughters and granddaughters might want, so I sent those with her, along with a sweater her daughter Gina took. Another sweater went to Lindsey, which makes me happy because Lindsey and Mother were buddies and fellow clean freaks.

I also found a bag of tiny things, including these miniatures. I have no idea where Mother got these or why, and it amuses me that if I search online, I can find them listed as being both Roman and Aztec. I’m going with Aztec/Spanish.

Regrettably, that resulted in this earworm and the most determinedly literal video of a song ever. The Internet: I think I’ll keep it.

Yes to this

I don’t think I’ve mentioned on the blog what a pleasure this book is. First, Michael Thomas Ford never disappoints me, whether he’s writing fiction or non-fiction, and in whatever genre. I was one of the people who contributed to the Indiegogo campaign in 2012 to help him finance his writing of this book. The original plan was that only contributors would receive a copy upon its publication.

Fortunately for the reading public, editor Steve Berman was persuasive in getting MTF’s approval for Lethe Press to publish Lily, meaning more of artist Staven Andersen’s illustrations could be included and also ensuring the novel’s wider circulation.

It is a fairy tale and while that might not be the first thing I’d pull off a shelf in the bookstore, as I said, MTF’s writing never disappoints, so I was glad to go on this journey with him (as a writer) and Lily (as a character). The book Lily is beautiful and sad and creepy and funny. The character Lily, who has an ability that makes her “different,” has a foot in two worlds–both of them magic, but only one that will embrace and not exploit who she is. There’s a lot of sadness here for me as a reader at the cruelties creatures both human and supernatural are capable of. But there are also moments of unexpected kindness that help Lily move toward a better destiny than the one she thinks she deserves.

Michael Thomas Ford’s touch is as magical as Lily’s, and so is this book.