Up here in Blandford, we are experiencing a small heat wave, it is not going to last long, by Monday we will be back down to 70 degrees. Thank goodness because between yesterday and today, I am wiped, I feel achy and I have the worst headache. I don’t want to post about my weariness, aches and pains so I decided to take a few pictures to cheer myself up, nothing like beautiful colors to brighten your day, I say.
You receive a gift that is bittersweet and makes you nostalgic. What is it?
Any gift that represents something of South of France, specifically the area near Istres and Carro, that region holds a lot of wonderful memories for myself and my little sister. Our cousin Martine would take us into her household along with her little sister and brother, our cousins as well and we would have the best time at the beach and at the pool. Her husband would invite his business colleagues over Friday nights for dinner and drinks. She would make us all kinds of delectable goodies and special meals. One of my favorite gifts was given to me by Martine, my infamous Rubik's cube for my thirteenth birthday, so as I have laid out, anything that brings back the essence of that region, sprigs of lavender, rosemary, pieces of limestone anything to do with wild scrub grass and sun, fields of wild herbs, those would evoke nostalgic feelings instantaneously.
The gift that my cousin Nancy gave me, the book Ahab’s Wife, is revealing itself to be one of the better written books that I have read in a long while. The author’s ease with descriptive language is pretty incredible and it is giving me inspiration for my own novel. The descriptive language that the authoress employs is used towards nature, thoughts, relationships and the physical persons in the heroine’s, Una is her name, world whereas I use descriptive language to describe food, cooking, eating and tasting. I think that I will try to incorporate more descriptive language to further communicate the sense of what Paris or now the lack of Paris means to my own heroine, now that she is ready to travel overseas to the new world.
I have often heard that to be a good writer, one needs to read a lot. Now that I have been at Ahab’s Wife for a while; reading a writing style that really has drawn me in and impressed me in a way that I haven’t been since I don’t know when, I feel moved to better my own writing. I know that I could seriously use improvement in my writing style. I think that for my novel, my style may be a little to matter of fact, not descriptive enough. I need to learn how to paint a scene with my words, I know that I paint scenes surrounding food and eating, I would like to try and branch out to my characters surroundings, feelings and physical persons.
It will always be a work progress just the way I am a work in progress as a person. That’s fine, I hope that I will get better as I continue writing, only time will tell.
Tell us about the last time you were really, truly jealous of someone. Did you act on it? Did it hurt your relationship?
The last time that I was ever jealous, seriously jealous was back in high school, in freshman year. My boyfriend at the time broke up with me for someone else and I was heartbroken and incredibly jealous of her. She didn't go to our school so that made it much easier in a way, but I was heartbroken nevertheless.
I never acted on it, I was never one to act on my feelings, I have always been one to internalize everything and when that happens, I am the one who suffers, often in silence.
I don't know what has always prevented me from expressing my anger, hurt or disappointment to others, I mean it does happen, but only when I have been pushed to my limits, I do have limits. I know that I have always been very sensitive to others feelings and I really hate hurting people's feelings because I know how it feels and I don't want to do that to others purposely or is it purposefully? Either way I don't want to do it.
I am pretty sure that is the only time that I have been jealous, really, truly jealous. There are so many other things in life that are more pressing that why let jealousy rule the day?
Our pool has just been opened so I am in the process of getting the water balance just right. It will take a day or two since this was a long winter to get the pool completely clear, but that’s fine. We aren’t in any rush. I wanted to make sure that I took pictures of my honeysuckle bushes; I have a huge light pink one and a smaller dark pink one. These are indigenous to the Northeast, not the Asian invasive variety for which I am quite thankful, it is so difficult to get rid of invasive plants, trust me I know I have my annual battle with bamboo and Bishop’s weed; two incredibly invasive plants.
Facebook has recently come under attack for failing to enforce its own guidelines on hate speech and violent imagery. Is it a website’s job to moderate the content users post, or should users have freedom to say what they want? Is there a happy medium? If so, how would you structure it?
Freedom of speech is very important, it is one of the tools that the people can use to keep their government honest and on its toes. Having said that, how far can freedom go? Or better yet, what exactly does freedom of speech mean? What a racist or bigot thinks is acceptable and should be protected under freedom of speech offends me to no end and I would never associate it as speech or something to be protected, but rather something that should never be said because it is so hateful. Yet, who am I to be judge and jury as to what constitutes the parameters of free speech.
Our founding fathers were adamant about the importance of free speech, they enshrined it as the first amendment of our Bill of Rights. I just don’t know what to do about hate speech and how to get around the freedom of speech aspect of it.
I have my own issues with the Huffington Post; they moderate comments for many of their articles and I have had quite a few of my comments withheld by the moderators and I am always at a loss as to why. Those who read my blog on a regular basis know that I don’t use foul language, I don’t say mean or hateful things and I am not one to be judgmental so I get frustrated because I don’t understand why I am being censored. Huffington Post is always on their toes so I don’t understand how Facebook isn’t keeping up with its responsibilities in moderating their content.
I don’t use Facebook to argue or push my opinions onto others; well perhaps I do if you ask a certain person that I grew up with, he is a far right conservative and whenever I share an image regarding C.E.O’s excessive pay packages or the loss of unions, he comments and tells me how wrong I am. He would be of the opinion that I am using Facebook to argue my own agenda which I guess that I am but I don’t do it by using hateful speech.
We can have opposing views, we just need to be respectful of each other’s feelings while we disagree.
The beautiful thing about marriage is that you have someone who feels that your happiness is as important as their own. Love has a magical way about it, your eyes are opened as to how your happiness is so closely tied to your partner’s happiness and when children arrive, you really learn how vulnerable your heart can become. Ask any parent to imagine their life without their child and you will see tears and fear in their eyes. Moreover ask any loving couple to imagine their life without their partner in life and you will get a similar reaction.
My hubby shows me how much my happiness and health matter to him everyday. Last night my hubby decided that we needed to get away together to Boston so that I may rest and this morning he suggested that a long soak in our room’s beautiful tub would be the very thing that would do me some good. He was right, the soaps are scented with lemon verbena, one of my favorite scents and the hot water did a lot of good to my bones and joints.
Boston is one of my favorite places and being with my hubby is definitely one of many favorite things to do. This year will make 23 years of marriage, the exact amount of time that I had lived prior to being married, crazy to realize that this year marks the juncture between 23 years of single life and 23 years of married life. After this I will always be marred for longer than I was single.
Tell us about the most surprising helping hand you've ever received.
I am trying to remember any situations that would include being helped by a stranger because that type of helping hand is usually the most surprising. This will definitely lead me back to my traveling adventures, it is always while traveling that I have encountered such friendly people willing to lend a hand whenever they thought it to be necessary and helpful.
When I was flying to London to spend six weeks at the University of London, I met a young man who offered to help me find my dormitory in London with his car, after his father who picked us up at the airport drove us back to his home where the young man had his car. His father was a very kind and helpful man, he gave us lunch at his beautiful house and helped with all of the luggage. The young man then drove me into London in his car and found my dormitory and helped me bring in my suitcase without asking for anything in return. I shudder to think what a nightmare that trip could have been on my own from Heathrow airport and taking mass transit with my suitcase all the way into London and walking the streets searching for the dormitories of the University of London.
That young man really saved the day in my book. I know it because after my summer term was over, I had to battle mass transit with my suitcase by myself to the airport to fly into France to spend the rest of the summer with my family, it was so hard because my suitcase weighed more than I and I was the most pitiful sight dragging that suitcase up stairs and down stairs and across the street, this time there weren't any knights in shining armor, perhaps they were all on vacation.
This morning at 10:30 I opened the Historical Society for the town; viewing all of its war-time memorabilia before the parade is an important part of our Blandford tradition. We had a nice turn out, at least 35 people looking at the pictures of all of our servicemen, all of the articles written about our townspeople throughout the various armed conflicts, the canteens, the powder cases, the pieces of uniforms from the revolutionary war and the civil war, we have quite a little collection going and everyone is proud of it.
Our parade is very small and nothing ever changes, but I think that it is precisely that fact that makes it so special. We get the fly over’s from fighter planes from Westover Air force base and we get the gun salute from our older veteran’s. I like watching the High School Band, it brings back memories from when the baby boy and the baby girl had their band responsibilities, we went from town to town to participate in all seven hill town parades for Memorial Day. Those days were fun but exhausting for the babies as well as for us. I watched the band members today thinking that I was very happy to pass the baton onto others.
We were very lucky with the weather today; Saturday and Sunday were so cold and wet, a parade would have been miserable. Today we had bright sun, a coolish breeze and the temperature in the low sixties. It was infinitely better than the rain and 40’s of Saturday and Sunday, I can promise you that.
I do appreciate the small town feel of very many things, especially parades.
Write down the first sight, sound, smell, and sensation you experienced on waking up today.
This morning I was woken from my dream by pangs of hunger. I was in a very lovely dream; I was in France in Rouen or Franqueville Sainte-Pierre, to be precise, at my cousin's house and she was redecorating. She has such style and talent for home decor that I was so very happy to just stay in my dream watching her do her thing, but the rumblings of my stomach wrenched me away from my happy surroundings and back into the real world.
Upon waking, I picked up Jack and put him outside, went and made coffee. Jack made his desire to come back in with his knock at the door. I then made oatmeal with milled flaxseed, it is Monday and thus it's oatmeal day. I am very regimented with my breakfast, it is the most important meal of the day.
I almost always wake up hungry, which isn't a bad thing, it just cuts short a few pleasant dreams.