This morning I watched one of my favorite movies on TV, "A Little Princess." Aside from washing a load of clothes, running the dishwasher, and transferring some decorations from the mantel to the coffee table, I haven't done much else today.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
"I'd like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony!
I'd like to buy the world a Coke, and keep it company!"
I'd really like to buy every starving person in the world a great big Christmas dinner, American style, and give each one of them a little goat like the one in the story, where all you had to do was say, "Little goat, if you are able, please to spread my little table," and a table loaded with good things to eat would appear. Presumably, the goat eats all the leftovers, plus the table and dirty dishes, etc.
Sad note: Bhutto was assassinated in Pakistan today.
Jed and I ate lunch at Chili's today, and then he went back to Atlanta. Wonderful holidays, wonderful birthday. God bless America!
Posted by Joanne Cage -- Joanne Cage at 4:28 PM
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Yesterday we enjoyed Christmas dinner with Ramey, India and Mable, and Buffy dropped in later. Jason's mother was at her house, so she had to leave shortly. I took my little Volkswagon to Ramey's so Reed and I could play with it and watch it scoot around, but doggone it, he didn't come with Buff.
Today I'm just lounging around and trying not to eat to excess. Jed has gone to Wal-Mart to look at garden stuff, after his initial spell of lounging around.
Last night we watched the first two videos of "Lonesome Dove," and plan to eat and watch the last two episodes this afternoon. It has been a lovely, quiet and peaceful Christmas for us, and I wish everyone all over the world could have had as good a time.
This morning my friend Sandra in Tuscaloosa phoned. Her son is a Marine colonel in Iraq, home right now but going back soon. He's helping build power stations all over Iraq, which I'm sure will be a huge benefit to that country. Jed said Baghdad already has twelve hours per day of electricity.
Yesterday, Mable said she can't get the sound on You-Tube on her computer. I suggested she try to get to it from my blog, from the "Waltz of the Flowers" link at the bottom of the page. This site has clips from the "Nutcracker" movie which was made a long time ago, and is still the best Nutcracker I've ever seen. I hope she's able to hear the music this way. I didn't think to tell her, but it may be that she needs to turn up her volume control.
The Christmas Eve soup supper at Vann and Susan's was delightful. We got to meet Lori, whose little dog Daisy is a pal of Sophie. Jesse and Andie were there, and Andie's friend Steve; also Ramey, India, Buffy, Jason, and Reed. Suze served many kinds of delicious food and drink, and Vann took oodles of great photos.
Posted by Joanne Cage -- Joanne Cage at 11:40 AM
Monday, December 24, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
I've put in about three hours this morning working on the book. Feels good to be doing something again instead of running around in circles and wringing my hands. My own opinion is that it's already a good story; with a lot of work, it may turn into a good book.
Looking forward to:
1. Seeing Jed on Sunday
2. Soup supper Monday night at Susan and Vann's
3. Christmas with Pat and them. Hope Mable comes.
Posted by Joanne Cage -- Joanne Cage at 11:33 AM
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Yesterday I was looking up the Atchisons' phone number to ask Steve to come clean up the yard, when I heard a motor start up out front. He was out there scooping up leaves, and the boys were blowing leaves out of the flower beds, etc. He asked if I wanted him to clean the gutters and trim the shrubs, and I was nodding my head before he got through asking.
"What about those big bushes at the side of the house?" Yes, yes. I asked if they could replace gutters, and he said they didn't normally do that, but he would ask his dad and maybe he could recommend somebody. So now the leaves are gone, the grass is brown, but the weeds are still green.
Then today I was feeling guilty about not starting to rewrite the book. I picked up a Writer's Digest, and there was this step-by-step article on rewriting. The first step it recommends is to take a vacation from the book after you write the first draft. Well, now I feel so proud! I've already completed the first step.
And, the Muellers came this morning (as scheduled) and cleaned the carpeting. So things are looking better around here. Steve's guys even cleaned the deck and steps and the front porch.
Posted by Joanne Cage -- Joanne Cage at 7:39 PM
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Yesterday we had a hard rain, and I guess that's what caused the hiatus. All day the electricity and cable have been doing funny things. I ran the computer diagnostics several times, and it kept saying the cable was unplugged, when I knew perfectly well it wasn't. But I wasn't able to get on the internet all day, my phone wouldn't even work, and neither would the TV.
I knew I had paid the cable and power bills, but had I paid them enough? It should have been a quiet, relaxing day, but I was about to run screaming from the house when I noticed, about five o'clock, that the cable modem's bottom light had decided to light up.
In between the electricity going off and on, I washed and dried a load of clothes, cleaned a little, decorated a little, and wondered how many important phone calls I was missing.
Posted by Joanne Cage -- Joanne Cage at 6:09 PM
Friday, December 14, 2007
Yesterday Dr. Gruman called me and said all my tests were unchanged except the cholesterol, and it was normal. He added that he expected me to quit smoking after the holidays. Let's see: in January there's New Year's, Valentines Day in Feb., St. Pat.'s day in March, all my kids' birthdays in April, Mother's Day in May, Father's Day in June, oh the fourth of July--so I guess I'll have to quit in August. Nobody's brave enough to have a holiday in August, except maybe a few saints in a cooler climate.
If anyone was offended or astonished by anything in my old Christmas poem, please consider that it was all supposed to be humorous and, as Jed said, randomly insane. I.e., Santa was pulling things out of the tow sack and randomly stuffing them in the stockings. No way would I ever give Jude a wild cat. He could have Wilder, if he wanted it, but Wilder doesn't even growl unless I run out of canned chicken cat food.
I miss Betty Lou. I also miss writing every day. I've got to get back to that. Writing the book made me remember what a cute girl Bobbie was, and how curly was her hair. And the time Maw Maw wrestled Doug down on the floor and squeezed his jaws open and poured a spoonful of 666 into his mouth, which he refused to swallow; and Gordie walked by, bent over and blew in his face. Doug swallowed and coughed, then hollered, "Mama, Gordie made me swallow vat old Free Sixes!" And my mama made Betty Lou's graduation dress, or maybe her prom dress--it was long, and had a little bolero (in the picture, that's me in my pink organdy Tom Thumb Wedding bridesmaid dress, and red-and-green-striped tennis shoes). Boy, was I skinny!
Posted by Joanne Cage -- Joanne Cage at 11:11 AM
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
A Country Visit from St. Nick
.'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the shack,
The onliest sound was the wind through a crack.
The fire had died down, and my hunting dog Jaws
Lay on the hearth, waiting for Old Sandy Claws.
They were dreaming of firecrackers, candy and cake;
And me in my long-johns, and Maw in her gown,
Had blowed out the light and were settling down–
The cow went to mooing, the hens flew the coop;
The rooster he crowed, and the mule kicked the shed,
And old Jaws give a yelp and crawled under the bed.
.I says, “Get up, old woman, and look out-of-doors,
For something is after them chickens of yours.”
“You’re crazy,” says Maw, “I aint going out thar–
It may be a pant’er! It may be a b’ar!”
Then to the back window I went at a run.
The wind had died down, and the moon had come out;
Some old dirty snow was still lying about.
Was the funniest rig that I ever did see:
There was four yoke of jackasses, balking and dragging,
Hitched up to the front of a covered chuck wagon;
And I wondered if this could be Old Sandy Claws.
He whistled and bellered and jerked at the reins,
And he stomped and he hollered, and called them by name:
Gee, Colic! Haw, Stupid! Giddyap, Dave and Willie!
Now, fly up the wall, if you don’t want a fight!
I’ll get on that roof if it takes me all night!”
As hound dogs a-hunting, when hot on the trail
Of the tricky raccoon, almost take wings and sail,
Then more rapid than beagles them jackasses soared
Up into the sky, and the driver he roared;
It was loaded with toys, and Old Sandy Claws, too.
Then all four wagon wheels, and each hard bony hoof,
Landed light as a feather on our old tin roof.
.I pulled in the shutters, went and hung up my gun,
And down through the chimley Old Sandy Claws come;
He bumped his fore-head on the low mantel shelf,
And I couldn’t help laughing in spite of myself,
And the tail of his coonskin cap hung in his face.
His boots were all tarnished, and flung on his back
He had play-pretties stuffed in a ragged tow sack.
.He was tall as a sapling and thin as a rail,
As straight as a plow-line and sharp as a nail.
He put down his tow sack and shook his gray head,
And the ashes flew off of his jacket of red.
But he filled all the stockings, while muttering low:
“A ’possum for Ramey, a raccoon for Jed,
A rag doll for India with hair on its head.
Crow feathers for Buffy on top of a hat!
For Andie a frock trimmed with ribbons and bows;
For Jesse some new double-nine dominoes.
.“A powder-keg pony for Reedy to tame;
A sock full of cinders for mean What’s-Her-Name.
Some apples and oranges; a big candy cane
For D. Vann, a sock-monkey for Susan Elaine.
."The apron’s for Mamma; the lantern is Paw’s;
And here’s a banjer for Jack, and a bone for old Jaws.”
Then the tow sack was empty. Old Sandy said bye;
Up the chimley he climbed in the bat of an eye.
He jumped on the wagon and let out a howl
That was halfway between a haint and a screech-owl;
It scared the team so, they took off like a shot,
Till you’d think the woofeener was after the lot!
.I leaned out the window as far as I could,
And I watched them fly over the fields and the woods.
Then Sandy Claws waved, and I clearly could hear:
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO Y’ALL, AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Last night I watched two WWII movies on TV: "From Here to Eternity" was about an Army installation on Oahu just before the Japanese invaded Pearl Harbor, and "Wake Island" was about the Marines left on that island who were in a sort of General Gordon position when the Japanese invaded, and died to the last man. I should have seen them before I wrote the book instead of afterward, because I had a few things wrong that I'll have to fix. Of course, I had seen both films before, but so many years ago I hardly knew what they were about. I almost can't stand that stupid beach scene in "From Here to Eternity," but Frank Sinatra was so great in it, and Montgomery Clift was so beautiful--this was before his auto accident and subsequent plastic surgery ruined his face--it's worth watching. Old Boit Lancaster wasn't bad, either, except in the stupid beach scene.
I didn't go to the book club meeting Friday. No excuse, I just didn't go. I could plead old age and novel writing, but I won't.
I actually plan to finish my rewrite this month, and think of a title, and in January I'll try to place it somewhere.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Spent the weekend walking back and forth, sleeping, lying on the sofa, looking out the window, washing clothes and dishes, feeding cats, whistling and singing, paying a few bills--all those things that writers do while thinking and working out problems with a story. The problem isn't with the story, to tell the true, it's with me not wanting to write another 50,000+ words. So I might as well just sit in the chair, wiggle the fingers, and get it done.
First, I've got to go to the post office and mail a 5-lb. book. I only sold 7 books in November, and I think they added up to about 20 pounds collectively.
Posted by Joanne Cage -- Joanne Cage at 2:22 PM
Saturday, December 1, 2007
The quilt was made by Jed and Jack's great-grandmother, who was Mrs. DeWitt Barnett Cage. I don't know what her first name was, but her maiden name was Hatfield. Aunt Emma Cage wrote and, I think, published a genealogy of that line of Hatfields. I believe GGM Cage's name might have been Hester. The Cages were fond of unusual or historical names; there was a Pulaski Cage, named for that personage; I don't know if Pulaski was a great-great-grandfather or what. Granddaddy Cage had a sister named Eusophronia, but they called her Flora.
I've gone through the novel and changed nearly all the names that were people's actual names. Now the real work begins--getting the thing in shape to submit somewhere.
Posted by Joanne Cage -- Joanne Cage at 10:15 AM