Friday, August 23, 2013

Seven Quick Takes: We Survived the Week

1. We all survived. I have done dinner and bed time by myself three out of the last seven days. Everyone lived. We've eaten a lot of toast, but at least it was food.

2. Nat spent two days ago agonizing (quite rightly) over the injustice of the events in The Doormouse and the Doctor, by A. A. Milne. It's the one that starts, "There once was a doormouse who lived in a bed/of delphiniums blue and geraniums red...". A doctor comes round and orders all the flowers dug up and replaced with chrysanthemums and then wonders why the doormouse is depressed. Nat was talking angrily about good things being taken away from people, and how he would make the doctor given the red and blue flowers back. We had a little conversation about how it's possible to do the wrong thing from good motives.

3. I want to make this puppy chow recipe and then eat it. A lot. I don't really want to do real cooking, but I want to make snacks and bake and do fun stuff. The only deterrent is the condition the children will be after eating it (sticky). They're generally sticky, so it shouldn't be a problem, right?

4. I have been re-reading the second Brandon Sanderson Wheel of Time novel instead of doing new reading, due to being tired and mentally non-present. It's still fun, and still miles better than the Robert Jordan that preceded it.

5. Miriam the Book Fiend continues her reign of terror. In this picture Geoff is reading The Showings of Julian of Norwich, 14th century anchorite. Nat used to insist on The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Thomas on The communist Manifesto.

Serious little girl

6. Geoff and Nat leave for 24 hours with my inlaws in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Leave Saturday, get back Sunday. They'll have a lovely time. Nat is ballistic with excitement at the prospect of swimming. There are pools near here but the prospect of taking four little kids in the pool by myself makes me need to go lie down.

7. I am sitting at the computer with Elizabeth on my lap. She is force feeding me digestives and trying to feed them to the picture of Mim and Daddy. I need to get everyone else up and ready for the park but the girls were awake five time last night and I am all blurry and free-associative today. Prepare for me not to make much sense.

8. Bonus take!!! I was making a list of some of the poetry I've memorized. It doesn't look like a lot, but it's the stuff that's always at the back of my head. I have a good memory for words in strings, especially if they rhyme. Not so good for things like, "Where did I put my keys?". I think there are more, like some John Donne and a lot of silly poetry from fantasy novels, but this is the bulk of it.

The song of the master and the boatswain 
Song (both W. H. Auden)

River merchant's wife: a letter (Ezra Pound)

To His Coy Mistress (Andrew Marvell)

I had a duck billed platypus 

Ulysses (Tennyson)

Burnt Norton
East Coker
A song for Simeon (T. S. Eliot)

My Dark Headed Kathchen

And Death shall have no Dominion (Dylan Thomas)


Melanie Bettinelli said...

Oh yeah the Doctor and the Dormouse gets me every time. Stupid doctor. Why can't that poor mouse just have his flowers?

I adore that toddler age when they want you to read big grown up books. Just because. Bella's was a Mother Teresa novena. Ben's was car magazines. I had to read all the articles and the ads too.

I'll have to sit down some time and write down the poetry I have memorized. A fun idea.

lissla lissar said...

I missed a bunch- things like kid's poetry ( a lot of A.A. Milne, Jabberwocky) and things I know in part, like the Dry Salvages and A Child's Christmas in Wales. When we were newlyweds we drove down to Arkansas with a bunch of friends, and one of the car games we played was Recite a Poem. You had to connect your poem to the previous one in some way. Some of the connections were pretty tenuous, but it was fun.

Geoff and I were talking about the effect of mantras on concentration.It's easier to do certain tasks if you are partly concentrating on something else. Like the problem of the centipede and the stairs. He was reading an article about it, and it turned out the way I use poetry functions as mantra. I was reciting Ulysses in my head during part of the sermon at our wedding to keep from bursting into tears from all the emotion.