Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Detour

This blog is closed.
The last photo is, as so many of them were, by Andif.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Flowing, flowing, gone. . .


Blog closed for a few weeks.

Photo by Andif, of course!

Happy birthday to the bird!

A little bird told me (You knew I'd have to work that in somehow) that today is our favorite Katiebird's birthday! Many many happy returns of the day, kb!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bon jour


I believe Katiebird requested coffee yesterday? Hey, around here? We deliver.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Coming attractions


Photo of summer, by Andif

CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Deer watering hole at sunset


This is our neighbor's little stream in their back yard. The critters, especially the deer, love this fresh water. Soon, it will be surrounded by tall flowers.

Click on photo to enlarge.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cedar Waxwing/Flowering Crab

My neighbor says the magnificent tree in our front yard is a Flowering Crab, which I'm pretty sure is the same thing as a Crabapple Tree, which is what a couple of you said the other day. There seem to be several varieties. I just call it Pretty. The Cedar Waxwings call it yummy.

Click on photos to enlarge.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Last leaf of winter


Photo by Andif. Powered sugar by nature.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wedding bouquet


The tree in our front yard looks so pretty now.

Click on photo to enlarge to maximum pretty.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mr. Handsome


I just love this photo by Andif. Go, big fella, go!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Infusion


Need yellow. Must have it. Now.

Invigorating photo by Andif.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Equal time


Cloud the Long-Haired Beauty informed me today that in her opinion there have been, and I quote, "too many damned dog photos on this website." So when she posed on top of a bed, what could I do but obey? I warned her this may produce a spurt of canine adorableness from Andif's camera, but Cloud merely sniffed at that threat, much in the way that Miss American might sniff at a pack of Boy Scouts. Hey, I'm not responsible for her moods; I'm just the photojournalist here.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Yes!


May I introduce Porch Sally and Mr. PS? He's crouching down, because I whined that he was too tall for my camera. She's holding an early copy of her new mystery novel, Patterns in the Sand, the second of her new Seaside Knitters series. It will be available in bookstores in May, and the paperback of the first book in the series, Death by Cashmere, is in stores this month. And that's not even all the good news. Maybe the best news of all is that Friday was Sally's last day at her full-time job as an editor. She had just arrived home from work--FOR THE LAST TIME--a little while before this photo was taken. Now she can WRITE fulltime. On her screened-in porch. With ME.

Congratulations, Sally Goldenbaum, and congratulations to Sally's fans, too!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Moon


Guess which one is the moon. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Night and day


The dark side of these very small towns I've been visiting is the economic struggle, which is intense and felt all along Main Street and beyond. The light side is the amazing spirit, intelligence, humor, and energy I've seen in their libraries and beyond. The photo above is at sunset in Courtland, Ks., where I ate at the only place to have supper--a pool hall on the western, "dark" side of this particular Main Street. I had a cheeseburger and fries cooked the way French fries ought to be cooked--soft inside, crunchy outside, greasy and hot. Then I crossed the street and gave my speech inside their beautiful, immaculate Arts Center, a remarkable testament to how much they want the arts--and their home town--to thrive. There were homemade cookies, and iced tea, and I'm pretty sure a good time was had by all. It sure was had by me.

I love these towns. I wish them well!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

prairie fires



I drove home through the Flint Hills where ranchers are in a rush to get their spring burnings done. Everywhere on the horizon there was smoke. In the bottom photo, you can see how close some fire got to an interstate ramp. About a hundred yards west of there, fire had consumed half of a billboard, so it was clear that it wasn't all under perfect control, heh. When I took these photos I wished I could include sound so you might hear the crackle, and only now does it occur to me that if I would ever learn to take videos with this camera you *could* hear the snap, crackle, and pop.

When fresh growth comes up through the burn, it will be the prettiest light, bright green.

Click on the photos, especially the top one, to see the smoke in the near and far distance.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

On the road again

My road won't look like this tomorrow, however. It will be I-70 to Salina, and probably with a bit of snow and--they're predicting--gusts up to 40 mph. Whee! If only it could be an east wind, I'd get there so much sooner.

This is the last of my multi-library treks, sob, and this one is only three towns. After this, there will only be the stray single library here and there. I'm going to miss this traveling from small town to small town, although I'll admit I'm also reaching the end of my stamina for it. For now. It has truly been great while it lasted and it's also been so nice to be able to share my photos and tales with you guys. Thanks so much for being so receptive.

I'll be back on Wednesday, but I'll see you here while I'm gone.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Poetry, Day 2

These vertebrae of ice brought to you by Andif.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

National Poetry Month?

A little bird named Maryb dropped a hint that this is National Poetry Month. Well! I guess we know what that means around here, don't we? Poetry is ON for the rest of this week, at least. Bring 'em, read 'em, write 'em, any time you please.

The photo that looks like a poem? It's by Andif, our photographer laureate.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cafe au art


And tea for those who prefer it.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sunday, March 29, 2009

before the snow


Remember the photo below with the wooden swing and the spring flowers? This photo is from the same back yard at the little b&b in Newton where I stayed on Thursday night. The owner is a photographer; her brother is the sculptor of this and other works on the grounds.

I made it to my gig in Junction City today! The weather got better, instead of worse.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sunset

Sunset from inside a house


Sunset from outside the same house


Poor babies



Crunch through the tulips.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Here today


Possibly gone tomorrow, as we are expecting snow.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Caldwell, Kansas today

One hundred and thirty years later, give or take a few, things are quieter on the trail, too.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Caldwell, Kansas


I was in this town today, very close to the Oklahoma Border. It didn't look quite like this, but I think maybe some of those buildings still stand. If I'd had this photo when I was there, I could have checked. It was a big land rush and cattle drive town, wild and woolly, as evidenced by this quote from a website called Legends of America:

"During its reckless cowtown period between 1879 and 1885, Caldwell 'boasted' a higher murder rate, and loss of more law enforcement officers than other more famous cowtowns. During this period, violence claimed the lives of 18 city marshals, leading a Wichita editor to write, "As we go to press hell is again in session in Caldwell."

My kinda town!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Map of my world


If you click this photo to enlarge it, you can probably see where I've been in the last two and a half months. Look for the dark red lines. I like this photo (taken by Joan Weaver), because it hides the middle of my body, where all the chicken fried steak has gone.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dream Weaver

This is the drum maker. . .^^^^
And here are a few of his drums. . .^^^^^

He's Jerry Weaver--architect, musician, sculptor, drum creator, and more--who is married to Joan Weaver who is, literally, a weaver, recipe inventor, wonderful cook, actress, and more, as well as being the director of the library in Kinsley, Ks. where I spoke today. You can imagine what their house looks like--a gallery of creativity.

And I? I am propped up in a lovely bedroom in a B&B, feeling contentedly full of Joan's cooking and the hospitality of this town.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Itty bitty library

I'm spending the night in an ordinary motel down the road toward my destination tomorrow, but this library I stopped at earlier today is no ordinary place.

It used to one one small room. Now it's two, but only because the cafe next door closed, and the library got the kitchen. Townspeople removed the appliances and grease, a man from town laid the new flooring, and the librarian's husband built the new bookshelves. There's a wonderful spirit here, and a love of books and reading. Kudos to librarian Connie Weber and to her smart, funny, lively patrons.

Yesterday, my mom told me about a city where the powers-that-be decided to save money by closing the libraries, but people marched in the streets to protest, and the city backed down. (Does anybody know which city? I can't recall.) Yay, people! When citizens still care about their libraries, there's hope. Not to mention, people NEED libraries more than ever these days, so they can use the computers to look for jobs, or go to check the newspapers, or rediscover the joy of free books, videos, and music.

Even in towns that are really struggling, libraries are alive. In Kansas, alone, there are approximately 330 libraries, isn't that impressive? Guess who has visited ten percent of them since January?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

On the road again


To Kinsley, Hutchinson, August, Wichita, Newton, Winfield, Junction City.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pinkrise


Variation on a pink theme, by Andif

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

wow


Photo by Andif

The M & M party continues. . .


What to do with left-over champagne? Mimosas, of course.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

M & M !


Happy birthday, Maryb!

Congratulations, Maria!

Cake and champagne being served now!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sunday brunch


Please pass the maple syrup. Does anybody ever actually use those other syrups?

Taken by an elf


To get this photo, Andi had to shrink herself down to elf-size, then lie on her back on the wet grass, and aim up. I swear.