Monday, July 28, 2008

gospel, ending, watch

Months have elapsed since I last listed diamonds:

*Monday NYT prints NY stories from readers in "Metropolitan Diary"--always a joy for the beginning of the week. I especially like today's story about the mother on the subway platform who soothes her disabled convulsing son by holding him tight against her and singing gospel songs.

*The end of a season coming and the anticipation of the next.

*A new watch with a red strap.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

nap, pavers, an extra spring

A hiatus in posting during which I travelled and thought. But now a big decision has been made and we are moving! From 1700 to 580 sq ft. And thus paring down. Harshly. And getting the house on the market.

*Tearing around for days so that I finally one day need a nap which is unusual for me. And when I got up decided that I could postpone until tomorrow the rest of the "to do" list of today.

*Giving away unused pavers to a friend who is replanting the library garden.

*The crab apple trees are about to flower which gives me 2 springs this year because where I travelled had spring while I was there.

Monday, March 10, 2008

yellow, advice,checkout

*"Gramma there's so much sunshine I've used up the yellow magic marker."

*A daughter who asks my advice!!!!

*A cheerful checkout lady (it must be difficult to stand most of the day).

Sunday, March 9, 2008

hut, storage, scene

*A quonset hut in the distance with shimmering (from heat) curves.

*Granaries: pristine white, clustered cylinders, like giant cigarette filters.

*Scene: I am sitting in the backyard swing, knitted balaclava on head, tea mug on the bridge to cool. Cigar between fingers. DST warming my cheek. In front of me is the lattice with brown vines of last year entwined through it. When the tea is Baby Bear temp I slurp--no need to hold back on the sound here outside. "I've copied the crossword." But I remain outside in the sun.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

candles, purple, slink

*A belated birthday celebration. Low key.

*"What is her favorite color?" "I'll find out." "Purple." Thus begins a new purple hat.

*"We think we will go in about a week."--said with bouncy cheerfulness.
"Well, don't say anything about it or it will snow."--wide eyed.
"Okay, we'll just slink into the car someday and head south."--whispered.

Friday, March 7, 2008

stockings, return, Steig

*While entering the market, I nearly collide with 2 children dashing to keep up with their mother who is wearing Pippi Longstocking-esque wildly striped stockings.

*The boys return, drained from driving 1616 miles in two days. My quiet time alone is over and I feel refreshed.

*A W. Steig drawing of people's faces all smushed together.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

accountant, gone, splurge, quiet

*I take the paperwork to the accountant. The smell of coffee. He buzzes his pencil in an electric sharpener (the smell of ground wood). Then we talk of politics (no new knowledge today, see below), of social security manoevers, of life.

*The boys are gone. We girls (dog and I) sleep later. ahhh!

*Alone,I splurge on spring asparagus, thin and steamed with no butter or salt. And cod cakes and crab cakes. And French cheese. And chocolate. And, and, not brown ale carried home in a jug from the pub.

*For the days alone I leave off the radio and TV--no news, no being jerked around by the analysts. Just Michael Jericho and Jewel in the Crown and quiet, quiet, quiet.

Friday, February 29, 2008

sheep, sunny side, bubbles

We drive up a narrow canyon with sheer walls.A river, frozen over except for a thin slice of rushing water, wanders to the right of us then the left under the road and around a bend. We are on our way up to this mountain town for the first time since fall.

*Bighorn sheep nimbly graze on small clusters of vegetation which cling to the walls of the canyon.

*We choose the sunny sides of the streets to meander around the town -- the chill in the shade is too much.

*We stroll by the same river in town -- when we go back down the mountain will we pass by the same molecules that we are walking by now? There is a crust of ice on the river here with a slice through which we can see rushing water. At some places the ice has formed layers with a shelf of air between them. When we peer over a bridge there are round moving shadows on the bottom of the river--shadows from air bubbles in the water? What?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

rolling in the lake, uncovering, choices

*As I sat on a bench by the spring lake I noticed two ducks wrestling. Wait. No, it was two ducks mating in the water. As soon as the male jumped off of her back she began to duck (sorry) her entire head into the still frigid water, shake it and fluff up her feathers. Females of different species act the same.

*Uncovering the garden, picking up the dried dog poop (how many dogs do we have? when did we get the elephant?), releasing dead leaves from the grip of the irises.

*I use to have to wait for the warmer temps in the afternoon before riding but now I get my choice of warm temps in the morning or the afternoon.

Friday, February 22, 2008

crazy, reassurance,writer

*Overheard at the circulation desk:"And then she went-----." "Then she said--." "But that's okay because meeting crazy people gives me something to talk about the rest of the day."

*Man pauses at a magazine rack at the store:
"Look at this guy's body. No one has muscles like that. I've never seen a guy
look like that."
Woman, stroking his arm:
"They airbrush those pictures, honey. I know, I in journalism."

*Finding a writer I've never heard of and filling up my bike basket with her books.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

forsythia, ride, "Daddy"

*Forced fragile forsythia screaming at me as I go into the market, "Take me home."

*Shall I tidy up the garden (such a jolly warm sunny day) but wait, no wind (for the first time in days)must get on bike.

*As we stroll along looking into shop windows ("window licking" the French say)up behind us come 3 nannies pushing a pram and pulling 2 wagons (5 children in all). We smooge to the right so they can go around us. We catch up with them waiting for the cross light. While we sit on a long bench they walk up a block and turn around to come back past us. Just past us they pause and chat. Up comes a young man and one of the wagon riders shouts, "Daddy!" Daddy picks him up (still in diapers, must not be too far over 2). But oops! After hugging and talking Daddy must go and little boy howls.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


*Using Noro yarn and watching as the colors manifest themselves as I knit.

*Bertie Wooster as played by Hugh.

*Squeeky clean teeth in my mouth fresh from the dentist.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

granola, after dinner, lying in the sunshine

Sorry for the lapse in posting DIAMONDS--here are today's.

*Flax granola from the local healthy store. After I eat a really small bowlful I wiggle my tongue around between my teeth to edge out the flaxseeds caught between. Then a chomp and yum. The healthy store is such fun to visit because everyone inside--workers and visitors--are happy, smiling and it smells so good there. Right inside the door is the flower section which is heaven for me.

*After dinner we sit with our laptops--talking, joking, explaining the day. I jump up to lift the dog onto the couch and have to repeat the lifting time and again as I get off to get a pencil and SHE jumps down ("She's going into the kitchen--she might drop food on the floor."), ("She's turning off the porch light--well, she has to walk through the kitchen to reach the switch.") and so on all night until we climb the stairs to bed. If we stay up beyond HER bedtime SHE climbs the stairs halfway and reproachfully looks through the banisters at us. SHE for the fluffy one of us.

*I lay on my birthday chair in the garden, a tea towel over my eyes. I turn the chair to follow the daily-growing-springlike sun as it moves around the garden. And of course I garden plan. Shall I give the weeping crabapple tree to Cynthia for her daughter and dig a pond in its place. What kind of pond. On and on until I go into the house and view my face raccooned by the tea towel.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


*A challenging sweater pattern (heck, I don't usually even use a pattern), varigated yarn (with silk in it) and a snowy day stretching before me.

*Green tea with honey and ginseng.

*Living half the day without radio or tv on and with no phone ringing.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

dogs, tea,cafe, smile

*We travelled south on a road with rounded hills past yellow fields of chirping prairiedogs standing on their hind legs swiveling their heads round almost 360 degrees.

*Off the road is a tea producing place--an enormous building which imports all the ingredients for the making of tea, mixing up the tea (without the water), then delivers it.We find a place in the car park far away from the entrance door and walk next to the long building to the door. With each foot that we walked we were immersed in the aroma of a different tea: mint, green--gosh, I cannot name them all but by the time we make it to the door my head is full of tea and part of me just wants to stay outside and smell the teas. (I dream of living nearby.)In we go. Once we took a tour of the place. We had to wear little white coats and hats so that we would not taint the tea. The mint room was incredible. Today we enjoyed all the tea paraphernalia (tea pots, mugs, cups, cookies----)and bought some.

*Full of tea tastings we sat in the garden where I noticed a sign with an arrow pointing to "the Celestial Cafe".

*The lady digging in an urban garden shared a huge smile with me.We did not say a word to one another and I understood her joy at working in the soil once again.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


*Hearing the chit-chat around a table at the yarn shop--the give and take and cross currents of women talking.

*Old black and white movies in an Oscar schedule.

*All the men and some of the women wear hats.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


*The staff at our usual Sunday morning bookstore hangout and read place leaves us alone in deep chairs bathed in sunshine from a window. I jot down book ideas, urls, design ideas until we feel the grumblings of our tums and saunter out to the car for the trip home through late winter fields toward mountains shrouded in haze.

*Icons--Byzantine, Greek, Russian.

*Racing with him to finish the Times Sunday crossword.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


*Spent a long time on the bicycle today. The path is cleared of snow with just enough water draining across it to swish as I pass over. The pale yellow grasses on the banks of the brook bow down in the direction of the high water flow.

*I shed my winter snow pants for this day.

*Last night on the way to bed I said "The wind tonight sounds like Jimmy Durante blowing his nose." "That sounds like something your mother would have said." It is nice to carry on a part of one's mother and still be yourself too.

Friday, February 8, 2008

listening,kite,clean teeth

*Listening to The Hermit of Eyton Woods. Books on tape require a certain part of the brain to kick in. Also, the pronunciations and Britishism are enchanting.

*Kite weather! A mild spring smell is in the air and the wind is brisk.

*A dog with clean teeth, just back from the vet.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


A horrible day yesterday--I was angry all day and forced to do things I really did not want to do. But today:
*I lay in bed reading Doris Lessing's autobiography of her early days in Africa.

*Napped in the afternoon.

*Woke to a light wind, sunshine, and mild temperature for a walk.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

family, Selvedge, mountains

Seen through the bookstore window:
*Four members of a family walking single file like stair steps looking down at the ground with hands in pockets.

*the new Selvedge at the bookstore. The colors leap from the pages.

*Rummaging through Selvedge on the ride home and pow!when I take my eyes up the mountains with snow force me to gasp.

Friday, February 1, 2008

walk, apples, blueberries

*We walked along a pedestrian mall -- arm in arm; strides of similar lengths; left, right, left, right-- perfectly in sync until one of us goofs up and I giggle.

*The apples on the crab apple tree stay on. I thought that hungry birds would gulp them up in autumn when ripe. But no, they wait until it has alternately froze and thawed. Then (now) fat robins and flickers bob up and down on the tree munching on crab apples.

*Taking from the freezer the blueberries which I packed inside while I was sweating last summer.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

garden shops,office, grocery

*A mid-winter visit to garden shops. By January, I lie in bed rearranging the garden, planning new plantings, considering how to nourish the soil, dreaming of the time I can jump out of bed early (in the daylight)to start digging and watering. So I begin to visit (should I say haunt?) garden shops. As soon as I walk through the Star Trek-like doors my glasses fog up and my nose fills with a woodsy, earthy smell. One shop has an indoor fish pond surrounded by lush plants.I usually begin to consider how I could saw a hole in the living room floor and dig a pond. This would not surprise my husband. Anyhow, a mid-winter visit to garden shops is a gem in my life today.

*The doctor's office we visited today has the largest waiting room that I have ever seen. It is never full and always clean. The attendants are cheerful. The scales is enormous. I begin to believe that I've landed on a space ship.

*I go out of my way to shop at a grocery not close to my house. I go there because the staff is cheerful, the produce is yummy looking, and I find items I have never seen before.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

colors, clouds,lunch

Choosing colors of yarn for a hat--luscious, soft yarn in vibrant colors.

The dark snow clouds over the mountains are like a water color wash falling down into the ribbon of light blue dusk sky.

Lunch with a beautiful, intelligent woman--my daughter. She talks of the latest escapades of her children. And I know that the hours of reading to her were well spent.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

back stoop,respite,C-Span

The back stoop is entirely free of snow (not ice) so I carry out buckets of hot water and slosh it down (and melt the ice). A few swipes with the broom and wow! a totally clean, free of elements stoop. (Tomorrow I'll sit out there in the sun.)

Joggers in shorts, families on bicycles, dogs (lots of dogs) walking -- the glories of a respite from winter.

On week-end C-Span authors are interviewed. I have a treat when I turn it on as a spur of the moment thing and find a favorite author lecturing and then being interviewed.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

a gang, candles, feet up

A gang of people over to eat a special birthday cake.

Not caring how old I am when I blow out the candles.

Ready to put my feet up and remembering the clever things people have said, seeing the growth of the children marked on the wall and knowing everyone enjoyed themselves.

Friday, January 25, 2008

willows, rocks,house-to-be

The orangey-yellow twisty willow stems that I stuck into a goldfish bowl of rocks.

Everytime I drive back from getting the mail I notice a rock formation I've never seen before. Could it be the changing angle of the sun? Today a castle-fortressy formation popped into view--red and craggy.

The bare wooden skeleton of a new house "going up."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

streets, chair,proprietress

A blog of pictures of people on streets includes not just young people but older women and men--wonderful.

A new chair. La Fuma. Comfort.

A lovely conversation with the proprietress of the Nepal store in town.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


The frozen lake has a pristine top except for a hole in the ice around which ducks have gathered to pal around.

A hot water bottle on a sub zero night.

Robert Lindsay.

Monday, January 21, 2008


I stopped using the dishwasher a while ago. The hot water is especially cozy on my hands while I wash the dishes (they, the hands, never get chapped from the soap and hot water). An additional comfort came to me this morning as I washed the dishes: a hot blast of air came from the vent under the sink.

Listening to a lecture given by a expert and professional and feeling confident that what she is saying is true. When she doesn't know an answer she says, "I'll get back to you on that."

The lecturer uses lovely, huge body movements to emphasize what she is saying. "...insulin is the key that opens the cells for glucose to go in..."

Sunday, January 20, 2008

blogs, blogs, chair back

Leaping from design blog to design blog wallowing in the colors and ideas.
Oozing from food blog to food blog salivating all the way.

Sitting so that my back touches the chair back--I realize that I usually slump over.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

scissors,restaurant, fur

Sharp--I mean really sharp--scissors.

We sit in a booth at our favorite Tex-Mex restaurant sipping margaritas. We are early and can watch the Saturday lunchtime crowd slowly drift in: the noise level from chatter gradually rises, the family groups come in children in arm and held hand to hand, the bartender begins to bustle back and forth behind the bar.

Cool fur on a dog just come in from outside.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Although the grey clouds and the weatherman had forecasted snow, I gasped in surprise when I left the bookstore and entered the storm. Full of warm coffee and fresh ideas I had not the "oh, no, more snow" feeling but instead saw only beauty. The line of snow in a crease of a blue car. White dots on my pink hat (when I glanced into a mirror). A blur where the mountains had been when I had entered the bookstore.

The stillness at the po when I get the mail--surrounded by red ridges and razor backs and hearing absolute nothing, a more absolute nothing I have never been a part of.

The tiny pieces of a quilt. I look at the quilt closely then pull back. It is like looking at a Seurat closely then pulling back.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

path,movie, bookstore

A path has been carved diagonally by shortcut takers through a low (designed to catch the water run off) grassy open space. For weeks the snow has hidden it but today it is visable. I am warmed by the memory of taking the shortcut on my bike last summer with the sun in my eyes. The shortcut is so worn down that it is a trough and it takes effort to make my wheels escape from it when I want to go another direction.

The movie from the book The Kite Runner can stand on its own. Sometimes I am fearful of seeing a movie after having read the book--fearful that the scriptwriter and the whole production has made a mess of it. With trepidition I saw the movie and it was okay. Kabul as portrayed was well done, clothing accurate and thank heavens, there were subtitles--instead of everything in English. However, I would encourage everyone to read the book because there is much more depth, more tangents to the story as it was written. On our last trip to Paris a man who gave us directions at the airport was holding a copy of the book in French which helped connect us to his world.

Writing a list of interesting sounding books to take to the bookstore with me.

run away, smoke, statues

As we walk across the road to investigate an estate sale a horse with saddle askew clops (love the sound his hooves make), his path irratic, towards us and we are just able to leap aside as he careens by us. He impulsively zags left down an alley. A man rushes up, hand keeping his hat on his head, "That's okay. He's going in the general direction of home." I wasn't afraid for thecars or people just that this magnificent beast might come to harm in his freedom.

As we drive down a hill from the mail run the town and surrounding countryside are revealed and I can see from horizon to horizon. In three places white smoke puffs vertically. No wind today.

A group of horses stand as statues in a snowless beaten down pasture. All but one are on four legs and the hind leg of that one is crooked up.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

movies, cross, furniture

Home alone, I sink into movies without anyone to interrupt me or judge what I am watching. Arranged is delightful.

Georgia's black cross with a sunrise and hills.

The predicted snow did not come so we could put the furniture for Habitat outside on the sidewalk.

Monday, January 14, 2008

donating, moving,desk

Donating a sofa, 3 chairs, a table and a bed to the Habitat store.

Moving my desk (from a dark corner) to a place underneath a window.

My desk location is now by the wall heater.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Today I saw a beautiful older woman with long flowing hair.

Caught up in a sci-fi series so that mealtimes are forgotten and the dog needs to scratch on the door several times before we open it.

Appreciating the shapes of tree limbs and trunks silhouetted against a cold blue winter sky. I am always a little sad at the time the leaves fall but when the trees are bare we can see their structure and strength.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Coming in from the cold and wind; lying, covered by a flannel sheet, on a warm flotation device; listening to the sounds of surf and having a warmly wet towel draped over my face.

Wild, crazy, wake me up early-very early-dreams. By lunchtime I remember the new,violently pink sheets and begin to wonder if they are the reason for the dreams.

Going through the car wash and looking up in the rear view mirror to see the headlights of the car behind me through the ghostly plastic sheeting that divides us.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


The quiet and calm after physical pain is gone--it is like suddenly leaving the eye of a tornado that is tearing and ripping the body apart.

The smell of the dog wet from a bath.

Basking in the January sun--wondering why the July sun and the January sun can't be averaged out a bit and then murmuring, "Just be in this moment."

Monday, January 7, 2008

water bottle,DVD, puppy

He who fills my hot water bottle when my leg won't straighten.

A daughter who brings an interesting DVD when I must sit with my leg up on a hot water bottle.

A silly puppy whose internal timepiece is still not in tune with the time change so she wants dinner an hour before the clock says it is dinnertime.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

to town and back

I drive downtown behind a small silver car. Halfway to town the large head of a black lab pokes out of the back side window, ears and pink tongue flap in the wind. Can a dog smile?

Passing the gas station, I see a very short little girl (on her tip toes) helping her mum by washing their car's front window with a squeegie.

On the way home I follow a car which has the top and a few dark green limbs of a Christmas tree peeking out of the back hatch. Is the tree trying to escape? "No, no don't take me to the landfill."

Friday, January 4, 2008

decision, hair, roses

Making a decision to drive a shorter trip and being okay about it because our objective was to escape bad weather and where we had intended to go is experiencing horrendous weather.

My hair is finally long enough to hold a bright red scrunchy.

Roses on sale at the store--I buy a pink dozen.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

washing, pens, service

Washing all the black winter crud off of the car and marvel-ing at the brilliant blue that shine through apres washing.

Finding good everyday pens that I like.

Talking to someone in the service sector that has not sucumbed to the effects of her mind numbing job.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Geraniums brought inside before we went to Paris blooming on the shelf by the backdoor.

Packing for a trip to a beach.

Finding British movie that I did not know existed and based on an Wells novel.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

talk,pooch,sesame chicken

This all began a while ago in the snow of last winter and hey! it is winter again so I'll have another go at a daily glimmers of gems in a craggy old world. Diamonds in the Ruff.
1. A delightful give and take conversation with our dog minder-the idiosyncrasies of her chickens, the trail of eccentric boarders.
2. The doggy smell of the beast beside me on the couch.
3. Getting a table at a favorite Vietnamese restaurant when we had been turned away a week ago.