dual personalities

Category: home

Walking along in the changing-time

Last Sunday was the Pedal the Cause bicycle event which the boy participated in for the third year, riding 20 miles in the PTC Classic. It was very hot.


I did not go this year, because there is a little too much walking involved, but I was thinking of him and proud of him per usual.

My weekend was quiet. Daughter #1 was home and accompanied me to my chemo treatment, along with the boy who comes with me every Friday. I am very grateful to have such support! We stopped at Chik-fil-a on the way home. Then the boy went to work and daughter #1 went to Ikea and I went to bed.

I read a lot of Longmire.


I hung up a new wreath (from Etsy) because fall is here.


I have always loved those “Chinese Lanterns,” don’t you? One of these days I’m gong to try growing my own.

News flash: not only is fall here, but it is October! Zut alors!

“When they turned off, it was still early in the pink and green fields. The fumes of morning, sweet and bitter, sprang up where they walked. The insects ticked softly, their strength in reserve; butterflies chopped the air, going to the east, and the birds flew carelessly and sang by fits.

They went down again and soon the smell of the river spread over the woods, cool and secret. Every step they took among the great walls of vines and among the passion-flowers started up a little life, a little flight.

‘We’re walking along in the changing-time,’ said Doc. ‘Any day now the change will come. It’s going to turn from hot to cold, and we can kill the hog that’s ripe and have fresh meat to eat. Come one of these nights and we can wander down here and tree a nice possum. Old Jack Frost will be pinching things up. Old Mr. Winter will be standing in the door. Hickory tree there will be yellow. Sweet-gum red, hickory yellow, dogwood red, sycamore yellow.’ He went along rapping the tree trunks with his knuckle. ‘Magnolia and live-oak never die. Remember that. Persimmons will all get fit to eat, and the nuts will be dropping like rain all through the woods here. And run, little quail, run, for we’ll be after you too.’

They went on and suddenly the woods opened upon light, and they had reached the river. Everyone stopped, but Doc talked on ahead as though nothing had happened. ‘Only today,’ he said, ‘today, in October sun, it’s all gold—sky and tree and water. Everything just before it changes looks to be made of gold.’

“The Wide Net”
― Eudora Welty

Have a golden week.


Three notes and the truth

So I don’t know about you, but for the last two weeks I’ve been watching Ken Burns’ newest 16-hour documentary, Country Music, as it premiered on PBS.

Screen Shot 2019-09-26 at 9.32.18 PM.png

It was 90% pretty great. The first episode and the last episode seemed a bit tacked on and the narrative muddled, but the rest of it, which was pure history, was wonderful.

I learned a lot and I was reminded of a lot I had forgotten. I especially enjoyed the commentary by Marty Stuart, Dwight Yoakam, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Brenda Lee,  and Ricky Skaggs. It was a treat to see them.

I was not brought up on country music. In our house we listened to classical music and broadway musicals. We had some Kingston Trio, Harry Belafonte and Tijuana Brass records. Our older brother bought Beatles records and Bob Dylan records, but when he learned to play the guitar, he branched out quite a bit. Our mother never really approved of his interest in country artists and didn’t understand why he would try to sing like Jimmie Rodgers. But through him I became acquainted with Doc Watson, Bill Monroe  and a host of bluegrass and country musicians.

Years later, when my own children were little, we started listening to country radio in the car (better, I thought, than the Backstreet Boys) and we became fans. We even traveled to Nashville several times and went to the Grand Ole Opry! It was all great fun and my children learned something about a whole other great segment of the country.

And it was great fun to go down memory lane, so to speak, with Ken Burns.

Here’s cousin Dwight Yoakam and Buck Owens:

You don’t know me, but you don’t like me/ You say you care less how I feel/ But how many of you that sit and judge me/ Have ever walked the streets of Bakersfield?

That just says it all, right?

Anyway, if you didn’t watch the documentary, take a look. I’m sure it can be found at PBS or streaming somewhere soon.

Have a good weekend. I think it will be a rainy one here and, therefore, probably a quiet one. Maybe we’ll get out out the old CDs and listen to some Johnny Cash. Sounds like a plan…

“Scars make better stories than tattoos”*

So another week comes to an end. It’s Fri-yay!

Screen Shot 2019-09-19 at 8.07.26 PM.png

I will be taking it easy this weekend, finishing Land of Wolves by Craig Johnson. Walt Longmire is back in Wyoming (where he belongs) and all the old characters are there with him. 👍 I am enjoying it very much and trying not to read it too fast.

I’ll probably watch some baseball–the Cards are playing the Cubs. Everyone here in STL is sort of cautiously optimistic as the Cards are still in first place as the playoffs approach. We’ll hope for the best.

Since today is the birthday of Sophia Loren (she’s 85!), we will toast her and watch one of her movies, my favorites being Houseboat (1958) with Cary Grant

Screen Shot 2019-09-19 at 9.44.23 PM.png

and Legend of the Lost (1957) with John Wayne

Screen Shot 2019-09-19 at 9.45.48 PM.png

…which both feature worthy co-stars.

And who can forget when she shared the joy with Roberto Benigni when Life is Beautiful won Best Foreign Film at the Oscars in 1999?

A great moment indeed.

And here is some wee babe goodness to tide  you over…


Have a good weekend!

*Craig Johnson

“I simply gotta march/ My heart’s a drummer”*

We had a beautiful day for our local Greentree Parade on Saturday.


Vrooom, vrooom!

The wee laddie got quite a kick out of all the army trucks and tractors etc…


And Lottiebelle made the round of laps…IMG_1044.jpegIMG_3225.JPGIMG_4041.JPG

After the parade we went home for Episcopal soufflé and Prosecco. Daughter #1 didn’t want birthday cake so we had donuts…IMG_3241 2.JPGThe wee laddie approved.


Daughter #1 liked her presents especially this one…

59017712068__D087EFD0-7A50-411E-8C1A-7969D73F5820.JPGIt was a fun day and a fun weekend and on Sunday I even managed to go to a couple of estate sales with daughter #1. I rescued a needlepoint  pillow!


The good news for today is that the 15th Walt Longmire novel is being released and I should get it in the mail today!

Screen Shot 2019-09-16 at 4.05.56 PM.png


See you on the trail.

*Bob Merrill/Jule Styne

Par for the course

As predicted, I had a very quiet long weekend. Daughter #1 got a lot done while she was here, but I spent the weekend reading and napping. No matter how much I nap, though, I never feel less fatigued. This is problematic and annoying, but par for the chemo course.

I re-read Rest and Be Thankful by Helen MacInnes, published in 1949, a novel which I found not to be dated, still relevant and very enjoyable. I started Wildfire at Midnight by Mary Stewart (1956). We watched Hatari (1962) on two nights so we could maintain our 8:30 bedtime.

Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 11.44.51 AM.png

You gotta love those baby elephants!

On Sunday night the boy brought the wee laddie over for a Labor Day barbecue. (Little Lottie was under the weather and stayed home with her mother.)



Best Book Ever

It is always fun/interesting to see one twin without the other. The wee laddie was well behaved and mellow, but we did have to have a lesson in not playing “catch” with the tator tots at the dinner table.


Daughter #1 headed back to Mid-MO on Monday morning and I continued with my reading/napping routine.

Can’t quite believe it’s September. I have a very busy week at work–here’s hoping I can get through it without too much ado. How is your week shaping up?

True for you or me

Well, the kids are back in school. They’re back at my flyover university and in all the schools around town. I can tell because the traffic is different in the morning. Even the wee babes are back and loving it.


So much to do! So much to learn! Life is good.

In honor of being back in school, here is a poem by Langston Hughes…

The instructor said,

Go home and write
a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you—
Then, it will be true.

I wonder if it’s that simple?
I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem.
I went to school there, then Durham, then here
to this college on the hill above Harlem.
I am the only colored student in my class.
The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem,
through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas,
Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y,
the Harlem Branch Y, where I take the elevator
up to my room, sit down, and write this page:

It’s not easy to know what is true for you or me
at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I’m what
I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you:
hear you, hear me—we two—you, me, talk on this page.
(I hear New York, too.) Me—who?
Well, I like to eat, sleep, drink, and be in love.
I like to work, read, learn, and understand life.
I like a pipe for a Christmas present,
or records—Bessie, bop, or Bach.
I guess being colored doesn’t make me not like
the same things other folks like who are other races.
So will my page be colored that I write?

Being me, it will not be white.
But it will be
a part of you, instructor.
You are white—
yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.
That’s American.
Sometimes perhaps you don’t want to be a part of me.
Nor do I often want to be a part of you.
But we are, that’s true!
As I learn from you,
I guess you learn from me—
although you’re older—and white—
and somewhat more free.

This is my page for English B.

(Langston Hughes, “Theme for English B”)

Have a good weekend.  Go home and write/a page tonight./And let that page come out of you—Then, it will be true. 

So brave a palace


Well, the wee babes went back to school this week. They were pretty excited about it.

As you can see, Lottiebelle is already co-leading the class…


Tomorrow the OM and I are heading down to Jefferson City to hang out at daughter #1’s new apartment. (Check out the new video on the JC Visitor’s Bureau webpage–JC is a happening place.) I’m sure we won’t be much actual help unpacking stuff etc, but we can lend moral support and give advice.

Screen Shot 2019-08-15 at 5.03.26 PM.png

Yeah, that lamp looks swell over there….

I am looking forward to a change of scenery!

Today I start a new, once-a-week chemo routine and I am hoping it is a bit easier than the last rotation. On verra bien.

For us the winds do blow,
The earth doth rest, heaven move, and fountains flow.
     Nothing we see but means our good,
     As our delight or as our treasure:
The whole is either our cupboard of food,
          Or cabinet of pleasure.

          The stars have us to bed;
Night draws the curtain, which the sun withdraws;
     Music and light attend our head.
     All things unto our flesh are kind
In their descent and being; to our mind
          In their ascent and cause.

          Each thing is full of duty:
Waters united are our navigation;
     Distinguishèd, our habitation;
     Below, our drink; above, our meat;
Both are our cleanliness.
  Hath one such beauty?
          Then how are all things neat?

          More servants wait on Man
Than he'll take notice of:  in every path
     He treads down that which doth befriend him
     When sickness makes him pale and wan.
O mighty love!  Man is one world, and hath
          Another to attend him.

          Since then, my God, thou hast
So brave a palace built, O dwell in it
     That it may dwell with thee at last!
     Till then, afford us so much wit,
That, as the world serves us, we may serve thee,
          And both thy servants be.
--George Herbert, from "Man"

“What ho, Tashtego!”

Screen Shot 2018-08-24 at 6.29.52 AM.png

Where did the week go? Daughter #2 and I went to work every day and got things done until about 1:00 and then went home and collapsed. This is my new normal. She made tasty dinners hoping I would eat them and I mostly did. We watched Lonesome Dove and Love With the Proper Stranger (1963).

Screen Shot 2019-07-31 at 9.38.23 PM.png

This movie was better than I remembered!

But we didn’t get much else done and that’s okay. DN arrives today while we are at chemo…

Screen Shot 2019-08-01 at 10.07.50 PM.png…and we will put him to work, busting up chifforobes etc. Daughter #1 rolls into town later this afternoon, and then we will all go into Melville party mode for the big day tomorrow.

Have a great weekend! Don’t forget to toast Herman Melville at least once!

PSA: Just a reminder that August is the month for TCM Summer Under the Stars, wherein each day of the month is devoted to a full 24 hours of films featuring a single outstanding actor or actress. Returning favorites include June Allyson, Fred Astaire, Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando, Kirk Douglas, Irene Dunne, Errol Flynn, Henry Fonda, Ava Gardner, Susan Hayward, Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, Red Skelton, Ann Sothern and James Stewart.

Check out the full schedule here and start setting your DVR.

And please say a little prayer for the wee laddie who is having another corrective surgery on his eye this morning. 🙏🙏🙏




Let it rain, rain down on me*


I thought I was taller than you…

Well, your dual personalities had a lot of fun hanging out, not doing much, but just being together. And that’s what it’s all about, right?

My sister got to hang out with the wee babes, who are admittedly more fun than a barrel of monkeys…


Lottie go to the beach?


Come in the water, Wheeler! It feels great!

…and she went estate sale-ing with daughter #1 and to lunch at the Women’s Exchange, but the rest of the time, we were pretty mellow. And now I miss her. Sigh.

But things are bubbling over at work and daughter #2 arrives on Thursday, so dull  moments do not accrue.

“No stars gleam as brightly as those which glisten in the polar sky. No water tastes so sweet as that which springs amid the desert sand. And no faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs through adversity. Tested faith brings experience. You would never have believed your own weakness had you not needed to pass through trials. And you would never have known God’s strength had His strength not been needed to carry you through.”
― Charles H. Spurgeon

Have a good Tuesday!


Hanging out


Which DP is that? It must be “Great-Aunt Sarah”!

Well, the dual personalities have been hanging out and gabbing away for several days now…


…talking over the events and people of our shared lives. We haven’t dined out or visited any points of interest or gone shopping or anything.


And now, on to another round of chemo.

The question is not whether the things that happen to you are chance things or God’s things because, of course, they are both at once. There is no chance thing through which God cannot speak — even the walk from the house to the garage that you have walked ten thousand times before, even the moments when you cannot believe there is a God who speaks at all anywhere. He speaks, I believe, and the words he speaks are incarnate in the flesh and blood of our selves and of our own footsore and sacred journeys. We cannot live our lives constantly looking back, listening back, lest we be turned to pillars of longing and regret, but to live without listening at all is to live deaf to the fullness of the music. Sometimes we avoid listening for fear of what we may hear, sometimes for fear that we may hear nothing at all but the empty rattle of our own feet on the pavement. But be not affeard, says Caliban, nor is he the only one to say it. “Be not afraid,” says another, “for lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” He says he is with us on our journeys. He says he has been with us since each of our journeys began. Listen for him. Listen to the sweet and bitter airs of your present and your past for the sound of him.

–Frederick Buechner, from The Sacred Journey