Share Your Word #29

Cee’s Share Your World for this week:

What is the perfect pizza?

Luigi's Pepperoni

Luigi’s Pepperoni

When I was three a restaurant opened in Flint called Luigi’s.  When we first went I didn’t like pizza so, to be honest, I don’t know what I ate.  Eventually I loved it. They make the thinnest, nicest crust I’ve ever encountered and in all the cities I’ve lived in — Chicago, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco — I never found a thin crust pizza that could compare.  People from Flint call in from all over the country asking to have pizza express mailed…

At the same time, I have to mention that in my Chicago years I fell in love with Chicago pan pizza — which I think of as just a different thing.  I’ve never found it to be as good outside of Chicago.  Even when Uno’s went national, I never thought the pizza at other locations was as good as the original.

And then there’s the pizza in Naples; we should probably call the stuff over here by a different name because nothing we do is close to theirs.  Or they should give it a new name to distance themselves from the American versions…:-)

What is your favorite time of day?

I tend to like sunset and twilight.  I love the colors and I also love that sort of peaceful, moment-in-between feeling.  I often walk during the last 15 minutes or so before the sun is completely down.  In the heat I do it because it has cooled down by then, but even when it isn’t that hot I like that time because the soft light is so lovely, the park gets pretty quiet, and I can enjoy the peace.

Show us two of your favorites photographs?  The photos can be from anytime in your life span.  Explain why they are your favorite.

I’ve never gotten around to turning old photos into jpegs so most of my long time favorites aren’t available to post.

This one is from just this last spring.  I went down to a spot by the Kentucky River where there’s a restaurant (which also means a place to park the car for a few minutes; often not something you can easily do by the river) and this shot just captures the feeling of the river for me in a way I haven’t done before:

Kentucky River by Hall's 0

This one I took several years ago while house sitting for my friends in Corte Madera.  They used to have an apartment at one side of the house, which I rented (they’ve re-absorbed it into one whole again).  Although I was on foot when I took this picture, it captures the view of the road just where it curves around to the house, so it’s not just familiar, but the view that always said to me, “you’re home” as I drove up.


Complete this sentence:  I’m looking forward to…. 

A life with healthy muscles and plenty of energy.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

It’s been hot and humid here with lots of storms and I’ve been grateful for a strong relatively new roof and working AC.  The week coming up doesn’t have anything scheduled that I’m looking forward to so I guess I’ll be grateful for breathing…


Share Your World #28

Cee’s Share Your World for this week:

What is your earliest memory?

The earliest — and only memory before the age of 5 — is of riding a new tricycle around in my grandmother’s driveway here in Lexington.  She got it so I could ride whenever we came to visi and I was so excited.

What was the last photo you took with your phone?

My phone has a crap camera so I don’t use it too often but I wound up taking a lot of shots with it for the Weekly Photo Challenge, Curve, while walking in my neighborhood park.  I hadn’t thought to stick my camera in.  The last one was of the crisscrossing curving paths at the exit.

Park Curves 9_edited

Have you ever danced in the rain?

In college I think I MAY have done a little twirling with an umbrella on a Singing in the Rain kind of day.  Mostly I’m too glum when it’s raining to be thinking about dancing.

What is the longest you have gone without sleep?

With zero sleep, I’d say a couple of days.  At the height of my unwinding head muscles keeping me from sleep I often spent up to 10 days in a row getting no more than two or three hours, followed by a day or two of lots of sleep, followed by another 7-10 days of almost none.  I think I’m a couple of years’ worth of sleep deprived…

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

It was hot, hot, hot here and the air conditioning worked perfectly and I’m so aware of how fortunate I am to have it, so I’m grateful for that.  This week I’m looking forward to the first week in a while I haven’t had to take my mother to a doctor.


WPC: Opposites

This week’s photo challenge, Opposites, has pretty much stumped me.  In fact, I’ve been feeling a little dense about a number of recent challenges–not helped by the fact I’ve not been feeling great and therefore haven’t been keen to wander around with a camera.

With some challenges I have an immediate image of where I can take a photo that would suit but recently I’ve been drawing a blank.  A friend and I started taking these challenges a while back as an addition to a daily e-mail check-in thing we’ve been doing for over two years now.  (Hers are not being put up as blog posts or I’d link you to her, but you might want to check out her blog on quilting and quilt repairs, Ann Quilts)

The idea of the photo challenge for us is mainly to (1) have an artistic project to focus on and (2) to have a reason we both have to get out and about — preferably not just to the usual places.  When it’s worked best I’ve gotten out in the country or discovered there’s more to a local park than I realized and maybe along the way I’ve discovered a new coffee shop to try or some other spot I’d like to explore another day.

Anyway, more to the point, I didn’t have an idea, didn’t want to fall back on using old photos (as I have the last couple of times), and didn’t want to drive around aimlessly looking for inspiration, so I took my camera to the back yard and got a few shots.  Just that 10 minute foray out into the sunshine and a new perspective as I sought appropriate subjects perked me up.  And I added a few recent shots I thought might fit a challenge one day:

How did we forget Elizabeth Jane Howard?



I first encountered Elizabeth Jane Howard when I found a new edition of her early novel, The Long View, at a small independent bookstore in San Francisco in 1991.  The book instantly soared to my top five all time favorites list and has remained there ever since.

A brilliant study of a marriage, the book turned the usual romantic love story, which ends at the altar with a “happy ever after” implication, upside down.  The story begins on the day their divorce is finalized and walks you backward through the scenes of their marriage to the hopeful  wedding day you already know was doomed.  I found it some of the most exquisite writing I’d ever encountered.

I began slowly working my way through the entire catalog of her work, winding up with her most famous series, The Cazalet Chronicles.  I read most of it via the library, but I bought a couple of the Cazalet series and, after watching the PBS version of it, I decided I’d like to purchase the set.  This was only a few years after the publication of the last one (at the time) and I was stunned to discover at the bookstore that the entire series was already out of print. [A gander at Amazon revealed most of her books have been recently reissued; head to your favorite independent bookseller soon and help save them from going out of print again]

Eventually I quit looking for more of her works in the library catalog as she appeared to have stopped writing.  Last week I saw a reference to the Cazalets and looked her up, discovering she published a final piece of the series in 2013 and died shortly thereafter.  I immediately went to the Lexington Public Library site to put a hold on the book, only to discover they not only don’t have the latest one, but Elizabeth Jane Howard has disappeared from the catalog altogether!

The literary world, which seems to prefer violence and nihilism, has apparently always undervalued her because her themes are more appreciated by women.  She’s not the only fine author who’s been relegated to the realm of “chick lit” and dismissed.  There are women who write for women with great grace and beauty and insight into human nature and I wish we could honor such writing as being equally worthy to the darker works the critics prefer.

In my opinion she’s one of the finest under sung and under appreciated authors of the 20th century.  While I didn’t find the rest of her work to be quite as exquisite as the first one I read, I enjoyed every one and found her writing beautiful in every case.  I realize publishing of both music and literature has become a game about selling mainstream drivel by the millions, but have we really sunk so low as to allow a writer of this caliber to be lost to obscurity?




WPC: Partners

For some reason I’ve been blank about this week’s photo challenge.  Most of my photo ideas were really more about “pairs” than partners.

I finally dug out this oldish photo (2013) of my mother and I outside our favorite restaurant in Findlay, OH — a convenient stop on the road to and from Flint MI on our annual visit.  And someone else actually took the shot with my camera…  The others are from 2013 and 2015 visits, shots of some old friends of my parents who’ve been married 60+ years.

Never made it out with my camera this week…



Share Your World #26

Miegs Field

Cee’s Share Your World for this week:

What’s your most memorable (good or bad) airplane flight?

I don’t really like flying so I can’t say there’s one that’s memorable for its goodness.  It’s a toss-up between two for the worst:

  1. On a vacation to St. Thomas the whole Caribbean was engulfed in storms and many flights were cancelled.  We got moved to a different return flight and airline.  They walked us out to a bunch of quite small planes.  I’m getting more and more panicky, thinking “these are too small!”… when we moved past one of them and stopped and the next — one so small it had been completely hidden by the other small one.  They had to seat us by weight to keep it balanced.
  2. On the other occasion I’d gone to Springfield for some hearings and again storms messed up the flights.  I was never too happy about the small commuter flights from Chicago to and from the capitol but this time I got bumped over to another teeny plane and going into Miegs Field (downtown Chicago, right at the lake) instead of back to O’Hare (where my car was parked).  The weather was still rocky and, even with my seat belt on, the plane bounced so hard several times that my head hit the ceiling.

How many bones, if any, have you broken?

Zero.  Lucky me.  But then I wouldn’t wish the decades of issues I’ve had with muscles on anyone — a broken bone would have taken far less time to heal…

If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? (guest can be dead, alive, famous or someone you just know)

Nelson Mandela, Thomas Jefferson, DaVinci

Make a Currently List: What are you reading, watching, listening to, eating, needing, wanting, and missing right now?

Reading:  Sarah Graves’ first Lizzie Snow novel

Watching:  right this second I’m watching The Politician’s Husband.  But the fave I’m watching lately (just came back on schedule last week) is The Fosters

Listening:  my favorite playlist lately has been one I put together of a lot of stuff from the television show Nashville

Eating:  I’ve been on a phase of eating Amy’s dairy free, gluten free burritos.  Also making lots of my avocado chocolate mousse recipe.

Needing:  I always feel a little edgy about anyone from a first world country saying they “need” something.  I have some things I want.  But in terms of need, I’m way too fortunate to claim I’m wanting for anything “needed”.

Missing:  My CA friends and being in Marin.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

A new pain doctor for my mother not only looks promising for helping to relieve her arthritis pain, but is incredibly nice and actually prepared to delve into issues as if being 90 means you’re still entitled to good care — something we’ve struggled to find in most doctors.  I’m looking forward to a fairly quiet week in which I’m hoping to get a little more writing done than I have been.



WPC: Curve

Never made it to get the photographs I intended for this, but for once I made it within the week of the challenge!   This week’s challenge is Curves.

When I walk I carry a little bag with a few things, including my cell phone.  If I want to take pictures I generally throw my little Kodak in as well, since the phone takes pretty poor pictures.  This time I’d not thought I’d take any shots so just had the phone.  As I entered the park the sun was a fiery red ball.

I felt there were too many branches in the way so I pulled out the phone and set it on camera but kept walking.  By the time I got up a rise to where I thought I could get a better shot the sun had disappeared but I started noticing curves everywhere: