Tuesday, October 31, 2017


For more October postcards
and wit & wisdom from Victoria Amador
please see my current post

"October Light, October Heavy"

@ Kitti's List

~ 28 October 2002 ~

"Happy Halloween!
Happy Samhain!
Happy All Souls Day!
Happy Dia do los Muertos!
Happy Wiccan New Year!
Have a marvelous & scary time!
Boo! Boo! Boo! Boo!

Well, it wasn't Paris, but I enjoy being back in Romania.
Next year I am doing the Transylvania Tour!
I didn't see any ghosts, but I certainly met a lot of odd people.
It has triggered a renewed interest in ghosts and paranormal activity.
What's your take on the afterlife?
Are there famous haunted sites in Philly?"


In Other Halloween News:
Many thanks to our sweet neighbor Tami,
who has kindly made sure that we would not be
without trick - or - treaters this year!

Look who has already been seen on our front porch:
Happy Halloween to this fearsome T - Rex!

Related amusing video: "This is why I don't
let my family pick me up from the bus anymore!"

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Dogwood Days

For more dogwoods
and poetry by Linda Pastan,
please see my current post

"Dogwood, Spring and Fall"

@ The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker

The dogwood tree next door to us:
above ~ April 2016, looking south;
below ~ October 2017, looking north.

At Auntie Jan's House
in the South of England ~ October 2016

Thursday, October 26, 2017

A Question of Apple Paring

An Apple - Peeling Coincidence!
"There will be time . . . for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate . . . "

~ T. S. Eliot ~
from "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"


The Spell of the Apple Paring
Pare an apple, take the skin,
And fling it straight behind you;
Whatever letter it may frame,
That will being your true love's name,
And (s)he will surely find you.

The Apple Parings
With a sharp knife pare an apple
Round and round and round.
Toss the paring o'er your shoulder --
The initial found
Will be the one you'll marry --
Do not be afraid?
'Tis an old prophetic omen
Good for man or maid.

both rhymes found in
Romantic Art and Customs of Yesteryear

by Diane C. Arkins (p 23)


And this is just me, playing with the food
on my plate at Cafestar, Astana, Kazakhstan

Sunday, October 22, 2017


Spring and Fall

to a young child

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844 - 1889)

A few years ago, not long after fellow writer Curtis Cottrell and a few other friends had shared commentary on "Spring and Fall," I happened to come across these old headstones, both of which seem to go perfectly with Hopkins' poem (more pics).
The stone says that Margaret was the "Consort of" Lewis Davisson.
Did they live at the edge? Drink life to the lees?
(Thanks to "Tombstone Tourist @ A Grave Interest"
for additional information on how to read old gravestones.)

Both tombstones are located
a few miles from my house in West Lafayette, Indiana
in nearly forgotten Burton Cemetery ~ Tippecanoe County

This once rural graveyard
now stands on the corner of a busy highway,
adjacent to the parking lot of a Menards DIY;
probably not the final resting place that Margaret & Lewis
envisioned for themselves at the time . . . kind of sad.

It is Margaret we mourn for.


Here is my friend Victoria in 1978 at another,
as yet unidentified Indiana cemetery.
We are on a quest to find this long lost grave.
Any leads for us?
"Everretta T. Parsons ~ AD 1815"
Is it Everretta that Victoria mourns for?
Or is it Victoria?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Hushed October Morning

Tina & Alastair's Backyard Paradise
See the little heart hanging in the lower right corner?
October 2016

Robert Frost has given us so many unforgettable lines of poetry,
including this beguiling invocation to October . . .

"O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know."

. . . which appears on my

Current Post ~ "Bright Blue October"

@ The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker


Previous Frost Posts

"A Time to Talk"
~ "No, not as there is a time to talk . . .
I go up to the stone wall / For a friendly visit."

"After Apple Picking" ~ "But I am done with apple-picking now. . . .
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight . . . "
[See also: "Harvesting" & "Ten Thousand Thousand"]

"Gathering Leaves" ~ "But a crop is a crop,
And who's to say where / The harvest shall stop?"

"Christmas Trees" ~ "A thousand Christmas trees I didn’t know I had!
Worth three cents more to give away than sell . . . "

"Departmental" ~ "Go bring him home to his people. . . . Lay him in state . . . Wrap him for shroud in a petal. / Embalm him with ichor of nettle."

"The Gift Outright" ~ "Something we were withholding made us weak / Until we found out that it was ourselves / We were withholding . . ."

"Mending Wall"
~ "Something there is that doesn’t love a wall . . .
He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.'"

"Nothing Gold Can Stay" ~ "Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold."

"Fire and Ice" ~ "Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice."

April 2017

Monday, October 16, 2017

Pear as Punctum

I know I posted this picture from last fall only a few days ago, but something about it jogged my memory, reminding me of . . . what was it? Oh, that's right: yet another "pear as punctum" picture, taken six years ago! What's the odds?

Apple Harvest (with pear as punctum)
October 22, 2016

Pear as Punctum
July 6, 2011

To review: Punctum is French critic Roland Barthes' intriguing term for that touching or disconcerting detail which pierces through the still life, the object, or the studium. Rather than the usual sequence of subject first, object second, for Barthes, the "second element which will disturb the studium I shall therefore call punctum; for punctum is also: sting, speck, cut, little hole – and also a cast of the dice. A photograph’s punctum is that accident which pricks me (but also bruises me, is poignant to me)" (Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography, 27). Barthes' "book develops the twin concepts of studium and punctum: studium denoting the cultural, linguistic, and political interpretation of a photograph, punctum denoting the wounding, personally touching detail which establishes a direct relationship with the object or person within it."

All Punctum Posts
"Pilobolus, Punctum, Yellow Squash"
"The Lughnasa Moon"
"The Handwriting on the Wall"
"This Little World, This England"
"Pear as Punctum"

Friday, October 13, 2017

This Little World, This England

Sunnyfields in Fall & Spring

Only a year behind in posting these these autumnal
favorites from last October's trip to England:
2016 ~ England in the Autumn

And a mere six months late with this batch
from our English Easter Break:
2017 ~ England in the Spring

Guara Flower
You might think that this picture is from the Spring album, but no -- I took it last October in Auntie Jan's backyard, in the south of England. Imagine such a delicate pink blossom thriving in October!

I also love this one for its more conventional autumn tone:
Apple Harvest (with pear as punctum)

Auntie Jan's Dreamy Wishing Well
~ in October 2016 ~

~ in April 2017 ~
(with little blue toy car as punctum)

Aerial View

"This other Eden, demi-paradise . . .
this little world . . .
This precious stone set in a silver sea . . .
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England . . ."

~ Shakespeare ~ from Richard II ~

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Sadness of Hydrangeas


A vanished house that for an hour I knew
By some forgotten chance when I was young
Had once a glimmering window overhung
With honeysuckle wet with evening dew.
Along the path tall dusky dahlias grew,
And shadowy hydrangeas reached and swung
Ferociously; and over me, among
The moths and mysteries, a blurred bat flew.

Somewhere within there were dim presences
Of days that hovered and of years gone by.
I waited, and between their silences
There was an evanescent faded noise;
And though a child, I knew it was the voice
Of one whose occupation was to die.

The House on the Hill

They are all gone away,
The house is shut and still,
There is nothing more to say.

Through broken walls and gray
The winds blow bleak and shrill:
They are all gone away.

Nor is there one today
To speak them good or ill:
There is nothing more to say.

Why is it then we stray
Around the sunken sill?
They are all gone away.

And our poor fancy-play
For them is wasted skill:
There is nothing more to say.

There is ruin and decay
In the House on the Hill
They are all gone away,
There is nothing more to say.

both poems by Edwin Arlington Robinson
American poet, 1869 - 1935

More sadness from Flaubert's Parrot
by Julian Barnes
British novelist, b. 1946

"It isn’t so different, the way we wander through the past. Lost, disordered, fearful, we follow what signs there remain; we read the street names, but cannot be confident where we are. All around is wreckage. These people never stopped fighting. Then we see a house; a writer’s house, perhaps. There is plaque on the front wall. 'Gustave Flaubert, French Writer, 1821 – 1880, lived here while –' but then the letters shrink impossibly, as if on some optician’s chart. We walk closer. We look in at window. Yes, it’s true; despite the carnage some delicate things have survived. A clock still ticks. Prints on the wall remind us that art was once appreciated here. A parrot’s perch catches the eye. We look for the parrot. We still hear its voice; but all we can see is a bare wooden perch. The bird has flown” (60).


See also: October Potpourri

Saturday, October 7, 2017

October Potpourri

Here in Indiana the hydrangeas have long since
departed, except perhaps in potpourri,
but in England, they flourish well into October!

"When October comes
there is but haiku
in all things I find."

Kyoshi Takahama
(Japanese, 1874 - 1959)


"...I remembered the rich smells
of fruit cake and marmalade
and dried rose petals and cinnamon."

Shirley Jackson
(American, 1916 - 1965)

*In this beautiful passage from her memoir Raising Demons, Jackson recalls the day she took her young children to visit their Great - Aunt Gertrude. The children are curious: Is she a million years old? Is she very big?

"We got out of the car, moving slowly, and stood below in the road, looking up at the steep steps and the pink roses above. . . . 'No,' I said. 'Very small.'

. . . I took a deep breath. 'Come along,' I said, and we went up the steps, me well in advance, and Sally coming far behind . . . I found, with a kind of bewilderment, that I had to bend my head to come onto the porch, although Lauri and Jannie and Sally passed easily under the low archway framed in roses, and I knocked on the door with the conviction that it had been only a day or so [rather than many years] since I last saw its glass panel, engraved with a floral design and chipped in the lower right - hand corner. 'Ooh,' said Jannie softly as the door opened, and I remembered the rich smells of fruit cake and marmalade and dried rose petals and cinnamon"
(117 - 18).


See also The Sadness of Hydrangeas

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


Uh oh! That scary moment
when you have only your mind to rely on!

by epigrammatist and collage artist
Michael Lipsey
Artist's note: "True story. It was at Target, where there could have been a thousand different things on the list. I posted these words a while ago, but it took some time to find an image for them."
First and most important item on every list:
1. Make some more lists!

Or, as we like to say around our house:
"It's not really lost unless Mom can't find it."

Another solution from childhood days:
sing the Blue's Clues Song:
"Go back, go back, go back, go back to where you were!"


Related blog post, on the serious side:
Lost & Found

Additional Words of Wisdom and
Collage Cartoons by Michael Lipsey

Trees, Trains, and Idiots

Imposter Syndrome

Election Aftermath

"Would you like anything to read?"

My Times

Hanging Onto the Dream & Winnow the Dreams

And a New One Just Begun

Cursive Writing & Cursive

First Friday


A Little Crazier

Sunday, October 1, 2017

September Butterfly Away

How lucky I was to photograph this Last Nice Day of September* visitor to our flower bed! I especially like the way that you can see one single antenna rising up right behind the Sweet Mr. William petals. And how do you like the way that this autumn butterfly has successfully blended brown, orange and pink; and coordinated plaids and circles in its seasonal ensemble? As one facebook friend observed:
"Oh Wow! How come nothing ever clashes in nature, but . . . if humans put those patterns and colors together in fabric or painting or some other way, it likely would just not work, but I've never seen anything in nature which looked like it clashed!"
*Last nice day? Don't worry! All that means is that it was the last day of September, because every day in September was nice! And every day of October is going to be the same . . .

Beginning of October Mum Cocktail
Drink Up!
Enjoy Previous Mum & Wine Haiku!

A good day to buy
wine - colored chrysanthemums.
And wine. Beautiful!

~ Autumn Haiku by Burnetta, Karen & Kitti ~