Our Tiny House

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Earth Laughs in Flowers


This morning I was on the prowl for a pink dogwood and found this beauty. 
I love, love, love this tree...




The earth is laughing great guffaws now—we ought to be dancing in the streets.

We used to have a crab apple tree in the yard that would stop traffic.

This was from my childhood, the fruit farm I mentioned in my last blog. The tree was a big as an oak and as is the case with apple trees, the leaves and blossoms pop at the same time. The result is a vision of awesome proportions. People would stop to photograph it.

Our cat, too, stopped traffic one year. 

He was clipped like a male lion. We weren’t being mean to our cat, with him living on the farm, and with long abundant thick hair he would collect foxtails and his fur would turn into a mat. So, on occasion, we would clip him. That year I got creative.

One blogger guru said you must add value to your blog otherwise nobody will read it. He said, if I said "I took my daughter to the park," no one would read further. But if I developed a list of 5 unusual parks in the area a reader would keep on reading.

Not me.

I don’t care about parks in his vicinity I want to know the experience with his daughter.

It’s human interest.

Guess it’s just me.

Long ago when my girls were about four and one, we would often walk to the grocery store. Talk about stopping to smell the roses. Or maybe pick a California poppy or say “Hi.” to the lady in the yard. Like a dog sniffing its way down the street, children know to soak up the experience. It was an event.

I got smart this morning, at least with one thing. I took both dogs for a spin around the pond, and while trying to photograph a wild rose, their constant giggling or pulling of the least was preventing this photographer from doing her best work.

Stand on the leash stupid!

Ok.

Got it.


My find last month, March 17, I was in Wilsonville, OR, and came upon Monument park...



I have to show you this, It isn't about flowers. But then, her name is Sweet Pea.

Saturday my little girl graduated from intermediate puppy class and is wearing her mortarboard. When she graduated from beginner class, the teacher tried to put a hat on her head and she turned into a squirrel--impossible to hold, and ripped off the elastic headband. 



Lastly, mouse pad--mouse--my hand--cat's paw. He wins. I'm out of here.




When I was 5 years old, my mom told me that happiness was the key to life.
When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy”.
They told me I didn’t understand the assignment.
I told them they didn’t understand life.
– John Lennon



Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Choose Wisely




The incredible edible egg. And from my chicken!

As I held that egg in my hand this morning a new awareness sprinkled on my head. Life’s simple pleasures. We know about chicken eggs. We have seen them our entire life, but not this egg, not this day, and not from my talented chicken.

That little egg, so perfect, so pretty, so contained. Wrapped in a shell durable enough hold up its own momma. I have three hens that give me three eggs a day. Imagine producing enough protein each day to make a chick. (My chicken’s eggs, however, are not fertile.) I keep telling a non-farm-familiar friend that you don’t have to have a rooster to get eggs, but somehow she doesn’t believe me. Fertile or not that chicken still produces an egg a day. I hope my little hen doesn’t feel like she is giving birth daily.  

G-o-l-l-e-y! (A Gomer Pyle exclamation.)

Last year when I found a potato under the soil I felt that I had found gold.

A gardener is like an orchestra leader who waves his arms in the air and music springs forth—or in the gardener’s case, veggies.

I went to the Farmers Market here in Eugene last Saturday, the second Saturday they were open, and they had produce!  In April! They know something I don’t.  Greenhouses maybe? Winter gardening? The carrots, radishes, and beets were tender and sweet, a cut above anything I have tasted in a long time. (Organic, with no bug chomps visible. Imagine.)

Once long ago when I lived with my parents on their fruit farm where they raised cherries, peaches, and apricots, a man and his wife stopped by to purchase peaches. We gave one to the lady, and she fell into peals of ecstasy. “This is the best peach I have ever eaten.” A tree-ripened peach. Huge and juicy. My mother thinned the fruit, sending little green peaches tumbling to the ground in a steady staccato. The ones left on the tree were remarkable.

#Elberta peach. I still remember its name.

Isn’t it fascinating that we can go bopping along, okay we say, life’s good, I will be positive, then something hits us. Like what just happened to me.  I looked up Elberta peach and found that once this “Old fashioned” peach was the standard for a canning peach, but it has been phased out. Tariffs on imports made domestic canning prohibitive.  Rats.

A tree-ripened peach? You will go a long way to find that, and I guess you may never find an Elberta.

I was trying to counteract the maelstrom of sad news that can bombard us daily by looking at life’s simple pleasures, and I got hit. It happens. I read recently that many people feel cut off, stressed out and discouraged. We are connected to the world, yes, but our brains are not built to have all the ills of the world run through them on a daily basis. And for me, today, it was all about a peach.

"All is not lost, however. We found canned Elberta peach preserves online at www.dickinsonsfamily.com. For a crop closer to home, you can plant an Elberta peach tree; varieties are available by mail-order from Stark Brothers Nursery (starkbros.com). And George Noroian still has a limited stock of canned Elberta peaches to sell in boxes of two dozen 28-ounce cans for $60 plus shipping. Call him at 559-591-7044."

I didn’t know when I started writing this where it would end.

Choose wisely.

Okay. I opened #Zig Ziglar’s, book #Over the Top, and found this:  Regarding positive thinking, he said, “Switch it on” It is like a light switch in a dark room. The electricity was there all along.

I can hear someone say, “You are just pouring syrup on crap.” Probably, but it feels infinitely better than staying stuck in the crap.

Let’s switch gears…

In the previous paragraphs, I was letting my fingers do the walking. It’s like life, sometimes we are walking along and our foot lands in a mud puddle with axel grease floating on top.  Wipe it off. Let’s get on with it.  

I wanted to tell you about my book, The Girl on the Pier.

I am reassured by #Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird) who says everybody writes shitty first drafts, except for a few and we hate those people. And since we create God in our own image, He hates them too.

And now for an offering an invitation and an imposition; you are, after all, my chosen people. And this is not my first draft.

Michael Larson, the former agent I heard in Central Point a couple of weeks ago, encouraged us to join a writer’s group. I was tempted. That was until I read Sharyn McCrunb’s comment: “I’m not showing my novel to anyone not prepared to write me a check.”

I also heard that writers groups like to rip and tear.

I don’t have time for that, even if it's good for me.

Since you are my select few, and I need someone to tell me if I have more than a few strands of spinach stuck in my teeth, perhaps one, or more, or you would like to read the manuscript. You don’t even have to write a check, just tell me if you think The Girl on The Pier is viable. (Actually, she’s dead, but she is only a painting, not the hero.)

It would come to you as a document file.

It is 55,000 words. (Actually 55,229)

It is fiction, 270 pages, 14 point font. 

No checks to be written, only request it, and viola’ steamy fun.

Recently I was visiting my artist friend June, and there on her wall was one of her early paintings. (June is 92, drives, is out of the house most every day, going to painting classes, movies, out to lunch.) Her painting showed a girl from the back, dressed in a filmy flowing garment as mine is, and looking out to sea. She was not standing on a Pier, but she had the same ethereal haunting feel as my girl. I must go back and beg and plead that she will let me take a picture of it.

Perhaps that would work as cover art.

If you want to be an early reader, and check my teeth for spinach, just ask at jewellshappytrails@gmail.com

The Girl on the Pier is a love story.

The Girl on the Pier is a painting.

When Sara Andrews and Ryan Walker find each other at a sidewalk café in SoHo New York, it is fireworks. When they become embroiled in the mystery of the painting The Girl on the Pier, it takes them halfway around the world.



Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Maybe It's Just Me



Some pro bloggers say that long content makes people believe there is more value?

Really?

Do you want to keep your eyeballs plastered to the computer screen reading a 12,000-word blog?

Maybe it’s just me, for you have heard me kibitz before about run-on content. “Just tell me,” I scream. “I love you, but I have other things to do.”


Maybe it’s just me.

I figure my audience is smarter than I am, I just have a range of experience they do not have, and by some quirk of fate, they might be interested.

So, what am I offering you?

I am offering you advice when I find it, experiences when I have them, and the benefit of living for over half a century.

I am offering you a nudge into believing that the impossible can be achieved—well the near impossible.

I am offering you quotes from the greats, and absurdities from the foolish.

Here’s justice: Man tried to nudge dog into a lake, falls in himself.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzJYVuqoixA 

I am offering you a chance to believe in this life, in an after-life, and in life beyond this world.

I am inviting you to come along for the ride.

I wish it was on horseback, but alas I don’t do that anymore.

Still wish on white horses, though.

Short, sweet and to the point.

Now go out and doing something great!
Joyce








Monday, April 4, 2016

Traffic


The only time we want more traffic is on a website, not driving down 6th street in Eugene Oregon at 5 p.m. Or on the Hollywood Freeway for that matter.

Gosh, I remember the time years ago when my girls and I stopped rush hour traffic on 6th Street because a momma duck with a string of babies had left the sidewalk and was determined to cross the street. I bet she was aiming for the wetlands that lie west of town. The trouble was, someone put a street in her path and filled it with roaring cars.

We frightened the momma duck by catching her babies, sorry, but we pulled a baby from beneath a stopped car. She flew in circles around us as we put her little fluffs back up on the sidewalk. Someone yelled, “Thanks for saving the baby ducks!”

Both daughters wanted to take the ducklings to our property where we had a pond, but I didn’t want them to lose their momma when she was trying hard to save them. Without her, I doubt if they would survive, especially since our property was overrun with duck killing raccoons. 

We left them to their devices, a family together, trying to weave through life’s obstacles.  I drove down 6th street the following morning, and found no squashed ducklings on the road, so I trust that resourceful momma managed to save her brood.




Funny isn’t it what pops into our head in response to a word.

Baby ducks.

This You Tube is awesome: A man in New York saw a baby duck about to jump off a building’s ledge about 10 feet above his head. He caught it in mid-fall. One by one about ten babies followed. One by one he caught them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMYGQ7ICKg8


Traffic.

I’ve been hearing a lot about traffic lately, and while 6th street abounds with it, my website is a country road. Think of country roads, though, where people wave to each other, and sometimes ask if they ask to borrow a jar of #Grey Poupon.

In Hawaii with the long lava encrusted road, people would pull their cars aside to allow others to pass. We would wave and each move on. It was a cooperative affair. The mongooses, too, liked to get into the act. “Wait,” they would say, “here comes a car. Want-a bet we can beat it?”

We always let them.

Wish on White Horses doesn’t sound like a high falutin informational blog, or an entertaining one for that matter. Yeah, I know #50 ways to Boost Your Web Traffic sounds better.

Yes, boosting traffic is what we want on our websites. It means people are finding us. It means our words are worth reading. It means something to the publishing community who counts numbers, and to #Google who determines who gets top billing.

I know everybody and their dog writes blogs, and even my dog Peaches got into the act.www.dogblogbypeaches.blogspot.com.

She has been silent since she passed on to doggy heaven.  I intended for her to add posts from the great beyond, but she is having so much fun being healthy again, and running with Bear that she doesn’t have time to write.


 Bear sleeping on Peaches

I just had an epiphany.  #ProBlogger by #Jon Morrow, one of the biggest, mightiest bloggers in the business, has great give-a-ways, but to get them you must enter your email address. I have probably put my email address on his site 50 times. Does that mean he has counted me as 50 different people?

Ah ha, it’s the old numbers game.

Feel up to following me? And thanks to those who have. Love you guys.
Joyce

P.S.www.thebestdamnwriterbloggerontheblock.com

"Bon Voyage"--my Saturday with #Michael Larsen.