zirconium: of blue bicycle in front of Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston (blue bicycle)
The subject line's from "Brooklyn Blurs," a song by/in The Paper Raincoat. I heard Alex Wong perform it with Megan Slankard in a house concert back in March, and he mentioned at an Angelhouse Family Dinner that he would probably play it during his Basement gig last Saturday.

I'd hoped to go to that show, but Other Things Happened. I'd hope to see tonight's ASL-interpreted performance of the Scottish play, but Other Things Had To Get Done. I have a suspiciously sore throat that I'm hoping won't get in the way of Things I Gotta Get To and Through within the next week. Mann traoch, Gott lauch.

There is a metal screwcap perched on my handbag. I am perplexed - none of the bottles in the cabinets or on the counters appear to be missing their stoppers or lids, nor is there an open bottle of wine - but not enough to feel like I have to figure it out before I head to bed. Though it's all too likely that my brain will seize on some aspect of this to turn into a tanka or triolet a couple of hours from now, and that will get me out of bed to type out the words before they evaporate.

IMG_1091

This week's Tarotscope urged me to embrace change. ... I broke in my new pair of swim goggles this week. I tried buti yoga last week. I'm looking at dance classes around town -- it's going to be a full day if I try to attend the Muslim hip hop doubleheader that's scheduled for the same Saturday as the Early Autumn Day of English country dancing, but it looks doable and is therefore tempting.

I am contemplating iron-on vines, to cover a stain on a gooseneck rocking chair I acquired last week at the Habitat ReStore for $25. My current tomato cutting + pepper cullings look sunburnt in their beakers and jars, so I'm thinking of throwing out the lot. I am thankful that I had limes on hand this morning, as I was again careless about gloving up before dealing with Prairie Fire seeds and ended up giving myself an invisible moustache of a burn. The zinnias are thriving:

IMG_1105
zirconium: doll with bike @High Point Doll Museum (doll with bike)
The subject line is from a letter Elizabeth Bishop wrote to Robert Lowell on November 1, 1974. As is this:


(For a poet, I am sometimes amazingly practical--as John M. Brinnin remarked the other day, when, after a night's consideration, I turned down taking over the late Anne Sexton's job at B.U.--Once a week; 4 or 6 people; but I figured out how little I'd actually earn, what with more taxes, remembered how tired I get with the two classes I have; and then began wondering how I'd ever get along with the students that had been attracted to Anne, and decided I wouldn't . . .) Then I attended a memorial service fro her in the BU chapel--it was well-meant, but rather awful--and after hearing a few of her students reminisce, I knew I'd been absolutely right--especially as to the last reason. It is very sad--and deplorable pieces are appearing everywhere, about her.


On a more cheerful note, the Frist Center is holding its member and media previews for Women, Art, and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise today, and the exhibition opens to the general public tomorrow. The "people I want to read yet more about when time permits" list includes Harriet Coulter Joor and several other women featured in the show. It'll be in Nashville through the start of November.
zirconium: photo of ranunculus bloom on my laptop (ranunculus on keyboard)
The subject line's from Marianne Moore's Baseball and Writing. The two quotes below are from Elizabeth Bishop to Lowell. July 10, 1967:


Well -- the Village will rejuvenate me, no doubt. I never appear without earrings down to my bosom, skirts almost up to it, and a guitar over my shoulder. I am afraid I am going to start writing FREE VERSE next . . .


July 27, 1967:


Just as I came in now Bob G called inviting me to lunch next week to meet R Straus (whom I've met, but no one, including me, remembers the meeting at all) and the famous Miss Sontag . . . This is almost too much for one day, particularly as I have to be bright and energetic for idnner with Anny that same night. I thought in the SUMMER in N.Y. one could avoid this kind of thing, but apparently not. I do think that was marvellous -- Marianne demanding a "house call" and almost unable to speak at 12 noon, yesterday, and then refusing all help and going to a baseball game. I don't think I can bear to tell on her . . . I always thought she'd die one day on the Brooklyn Express; now I think she'll die in the bleachers.
zirconium: my hands, sewing a chemo cap liner (care caps hands)
From Soshitsu Sen's Chado: The Japanese Way of Tea (1979):


The charcoal is arranged in a set pattern in the container. The long, white sticks are charcoal made from azalea branches and painted with gesso. The black charcoal is made from any of a variety of woods (20).



The artisan who crafts the scoops will usually give a specific poetic name to each, such as "Outgoing Boat," "Incoming Boat," "Spring Wind," "Firefly," "Demon's Arm," and so on (26).
zirconium: photo of ranunculus bloom on my laptop (ranunculus on keyboard)
Elizabeth Bishop to Robert Lowell, 18 July 1950:


Just had a visit from the Dutchman who works here & writes poetry incessantly. I hope he wasn't one of your problems too. One poem this time is about his soul fermenting in a barrel of sauerkraut. He's so grateful to God for sending him such marvelous ideas, but personally I'm afraid God is playing tricks on him.


There is no actual sauerkraut here, as I've despised the stuff all my life. What we do have on hand: kosher dill pickles, salted lemons, and capers. From generous colleagues, fire cider and dried pineapple. From the container garden, belatedly harvested radish greens and arugula, tempered on my stove with cream or bacon and wine vinegar, countered by a orange-skinned cherry tomato I popped into my mouth a day or three too soon. I cut down the rust-plagued hocks a few twilights ago, and in the morning shall steel myself to thin out the zinnias, if rain is not pelting down. The Christmas peppers run the gamut from stunted seedling to shriveling unharvested pod. So too my drafts. So too my sketches and lists.
zirconium: of blue bicycle in front of Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston (blue bicycle rear)
(First set of notes here)

Second-half standouts:

Ruth Madievsky, "Paragard": "I was in a lecture hall, explaining how the copper IUD works..."

Brendan Constantine's conversation with Alan Fox. Among BC's provocative statements:


I just had a conversation with a poet I can't name, who was very angry because they felt that the internet was flooded with lots of mediocre poetry. Now anyone can put a badge on their shirt that says "Poet" and communicate with ohter poets and have all this great access, the world, the media, the "readers" are overwhelmed with bad work, and thus can't find or recognize where the "good" work is. That is a paranoia I don't share. It's an argument I've heard, over and over, that bad poetry somehow diminishes our joy and plight. That if the "bad" poets are allowed to publish, it destroys connoisseurship. I don't see that to be the case. I think that every great artist, like every great art critic, will die ignorant of most of the good art in their time. That's been true of virtually every generation. I mean, why else does it seem that half the work that ultimately "comes to define a generation" is discovered posthumously.


And also:


If you're lucky enough to live a good long life, you're going to see most of your cherished profundities reduced to trivia, and virtually every banality celebrated.

pace

Feb. 28th, 2016 12:59 pm
zirconium: of blue bicycle in front of Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston (blue bicycle)
Future Bicycle II

by Cyrus Kabiru


From the March 2016 issue of ELLE (page 410):



Adrift and Apathetic: How do I spark a desire to improve? How do I rekindle my career fire? How do I keep up with the pack?

E. Jean: Adrift, Darling: Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Keep up with the pack? Nobody keeps up with the pack. Hell, the pack can't keep up with the pack. Even Kylie Jenner (Miss Kylie Jenner with her 45 million -- repeat, million -- Instagram followers) says she wakes up "every morning with the worst anxiety." Your primate brain -- and its precuneus, concerned with conscious and reflections upon self; and its temporoparietal junction, where thought processing and perceptions lie -- centers your attention on people above you in the pecking order. Ergo, you always feel behind.

Weirdly, you don't even register the 97 percent of the world that's trying to keep up with you and your razzle-dazzle education and art projects.

Lately I was glued to an article in the Wall Street Journal by the primatologist and neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky (I had no choice -- I'm so behind this guy in the pecking order that I'm an amoeba on the backside of a flea on the buttocks of one of his baboons) called "Brain Reflexes That Monitor the Pecking Order." Read it and you'll never fret about the pack again.


From Laura Brown's interview of Drew Barrymore, in the March 2016 issue of Harper's Bazaar:


"I don't think I'm hot right now necessarily, because I have all my irons in a bunch of different fires," Barrymore says, amused at the heavy-handedness of the metaphor. "I'm writing. I'm doing makeup. I'm doing design. I'm expanding Flower into different categories." She adds, "I think it's a huge mistake to think you have to burn bright for your whole life. You cannot sustain it. It's exhausting, and it's not very realistic."


Winemaker Jason Lett, in a 2008 interview at the Splendid Table that was rebroadcast on WPLN today:


Grape vines are a bit like human beings. As they age, the quality of what they produce goes up and the quantity goes down. These vines will continue to produce fruit for probably past their 100th year. What we're going to continue to see as that process happens is an increase in quality and a decrease in quantity.

We're already starting to see this. This vineyard is giving us maybe a ton-and-a-half to the acre every year. But the flavors are concentrated and gorgeous, so we'll keep farming this long past the time an accountant would tell me to pull it out.

scale

Feb. 27th, 2016 09:15 am
zirconium: photo of pumpkin on wire chair (pumpkin on chair)
I am actually in the thick of replacing a rotting deck with more house, but this quote in the March issue of Southern Living spoke to me anyway:



People get caught up in grandeur, forgetting that the best times they ever had in their lives were in tiny spaces with low ceilings and the best things ever said to them were whispered. When I design a house, I start with the site to figure out what elements you want to engage with emotionally and spiritually. Then I consider the communion of people and objects and create containment around them. My consideration is always what it's going to feel like together. Only lastly do I concern myself with what a house looks like. The only real value of building a house is to increase the territory of your own heart. The only real truth is to create something that will settle your spirit.


-- Bobby McAlpine
zirconium: me @Niki de St Phalle's Firebird (firebird)
My week so far has included the rejection of eight poems (though one was a near-miss) and some aggravation (both of the near-to-firing-a-firm kind and the dammit-I-left-my-badge-on-the-piano variety), not to mention truly atrocious fantasy tennis results. But, I seem to be providing pleasure to assorted Kei Nishikori fans, there was plenty of butter and black pepper to mash into the neeps I boiled for supper, and I'm closing my evening with a glass of Beaujolais (slightly rough, but sanding down a bit of jag as I sip) and assorted phrases for pieces.

Also, Rattle published a poem on Sunday, both in text and audio form: "Look at that, you son of a bitch"

I also keep meaning to mention "Some Who Wander Become Lost," which the SFPA posted online a few months ago.

My calendars contain crossouts and calculations. So, for that matter, do the cards and scraps of paper containing what I might write or shape next. In the meantime, there are roses everywhere -- I saw some near a curb on Valentine's Day, just as I was about to cross White Station Road:

White Station Road, Memphis

The back of the card I picked up was blank. It has me wondering about roses not sent. It brings back memories of roses I have sent, and thrown, and pressed, and attempted to propagate (not yet successfully). Not every Emily Dickinson poem pairs up well with "Yellow Rose of Texas" ("So much of Heaven has gone from earth"? No), but it's not as if the ghosts of Amherst or Austin ever insisted on that. Perhaps the roses really want to grow. Perhaps the mallows will survive this morning's freezing fog. There is more than snow between the glass and the huge roses. There is more to work than work. Earlier this week, a colleague and I talked about trading plants later this year -- succulents for peppers. The dog knocked over one of my pots while I was away, and happily hoovered up asparagus stubs two nights ago. Cleaning. Digging. Dreaming.


A name for a new rose: Mozart.
That's what I'd call the first rose on the moon,
If I got there to grow it.

-- Robert Nye, "Travelling to My Second Marriage on the Day of the First Moonshot"
zirconium: US and POW-MIA flags above Andrew Johnson National Cemetery (US/POW flags)
At church this morning, div school student Sara Green read some passages from Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Beyond Vietnam" speech, delivered in 1967. Two excerpts:


Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty. But we must move on.

Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation’s history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movement, and pray that our inner being may be sensitive to its guidance. For we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.



The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality, we will find ourselves organizing “clergy and laymen concerned” committees for the next generation. They will be concerned about Guatemala and Peru. They will be concerned about Thailand and Cambodia. They will be concerned about Mozambique and South Africa. We will be marching for these and a dozen other names and attending rallies without end unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy...

This is the role our nation has taken, the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investments. I am convinced that if we are to get on to the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
zirconium: Photo of cat snoozing on motorcycle on a sunny day in Jersualem's Old City. (cat on moto)
As de Waal worked, his dog, Isla, sat in a corner, chewing on a torn-up plush pheasant. I asked how many dog hairs he thought had become embedded in his pots over the years. "Oh, just a wonderful number," he said.


"Thinking with His Hands," by Sam Anderson (NYT Magazine, November 29)
zirconium: me @Niki de St Phalle's Firebird (firebird)
When Miss Dog nosed me off the couch this morning, my head was still aching and my throat still raw from the cold that hit me toward the end of last week, and I staggered back to the cushions thinking that I'd be flat on my back for another day and in no state even to watch videos (a library copy of The Crossing, is waiting for me; it may be of interest to some of you because, according to one YouTube commenter, "Alexander Hamilton [Steven McCarthy] never looked so sexy!" and I admittedly requested it because I'm still working through my Roger Rees fetish; he plays Hugh Mercer).

At any rate, three more hours of sleep + meds + coffee somehow worked wonders, at least to the extent of me feeling up to light gardening. I pruned the mess around the rogue rosebush and rooted three cuttings from it, dipping them first in honey:

Honey as a rooting compound

"Honey" is also prompt 43 in Upper Rubber Boot's 100 Untimed Books photo challenge, so this passage from an Emily Dickinson letter (28 December 1880) caught my eye:


The Honey reached us yesterday.

Honey not born of Bee -- but Constancy -- which is "far better." I can scarcely tell you the sweetness it woke, nor the sweetness it stilled.


100 untimed books - honey

In introducing the letter, the recipient's granddaughter notes that "death was again uppermost in [Emily's] mind" at this time, "two more persons were gone who had meant much to her in different ways" -- the novelist George Eliot and the physician David P. Smith. I am not grieving, exactly, but I did hear of two deaths last week that have me perhaps clinging a touch tighter to the connections that have persisted across time and distance. Both women died of cancer -- one last November, one this past March -- and I am not surprised that I was not in the loop about either passing, as it's been more than fifteen years since I saw either of them and I am no longer close to the people who would have known to let me know. But I am also immensely grateful to the connections deep enough to transmit both news and warmth every few years, which is how I found out about the former colleague, and to the internet's obituary archives for providing me closure on Marilyn, whose paintings hang in my living room and library. My copy of E. E. Cummings's collected poems was already pretty beat-up when I impulsively gave it to her during a workshop we were taking together; I wonder if it survived her own moves since 1995, or if a family member chucked it into a dumpster during the final cleaning-out, or if maybe she handed it on to another penny-pinched artist to enjoy.

I am not really fretting over what happened to the book, of course; it is merely somewhere for the sadness to go until I regain the drive to channel it into poems. In the meantime: honey and dirt. For perhaps the roses really want to grow...

rose propagation

best years

Oct. 20th, 2015 07:32 pm
zirconium: doll with bike @High Point Doll Museum (doll with bike)
Prompt 38 in Upper Rubber Boot's 100 Untimed Books photo challenge is best years.

38 - best years

I'm indulging in irony here, as Niki and Harry's marriage did not last, though Harry would later remember their years together as "fabulous" and Niki would write about becoming close friends with Harry's second wife and sharing many secrets with her. A woman who spent her life with a paintbrush in one hand and a 22-calibre rifle in the other, Niki de Saint Phalle survived abuse and multiple suicide attempts to create compelling works of art.

Harry and Me is a book that zigs and zags from memories of delight to memories of frustration to memories of contentment. There's Niki being so distraught at the death of a parakeet that she slashes "a very good painting"; she says that Harry then became "furious with me and he made me promise to never ever take my grief out on my work like that again." Then, a few pages later, there's a clash of styles in Madrid:


Harry was very careful and meticulous with his proper use of the Spanish language. I on the other hand, wanted only to communicate. I did not care about grammar (or mistakes in general) and my Spanish annoyed him no end. Because of Harry's perpetual correction, which grated my nerves, I stupidly gave up speaking it although I could understand it well enough.


But there was also happiness:


One of Harry's and my great pleasures during our several trips to Spain was to eat in tapas bars instead of regular restaurants. We ate at tapas bars in Cordoba when we went to visit the mosque there, and I think also in Madrid. These tapas bars served a huge variety of spicy, heavy and delicious nibbles to be eaten while sipping the strong red Spanish wine. There were tapa of all kinds: squid tapa, sausage tapa, chicken and olive tapa, and shellfish tapa, etc. Harry and I would sit at the bars for long hours and just point to the things that we wanted to eat.
zirconium: photo of Greek style coffee, Larnaca, October 2011 (coffee in Cyprus)
[photo challenge: Upper Rubber Boot's 100 Untimed Books] prompt 35: prescriptions for loneliness

Alfred A. Knopf's photo album came to mind when I was pondering this prompt, perhaps because it's where I store my copy of the program for the 1945 dinner in honor of Fred Melcher's fifty years in publishing (Melcher being a prominent Unitarian Universalist who, among many other roles, was a key player in establishing the Newbery and Caldecott medals).

35 - prescriptions for loneliness

35 - prescriptions for loneliness

In Victoria Glendinning's biography of Elizabeth Bowen, there's a photo of Elizabeth at the Knopf home in Purchase, New York. I find Glendinning's generalizations about sexuality and friendship irritating, but within the nonsense there are glimpses of a past generation's true moments of connection:

William Maxwell of The New Yorker/ observed that [Elizabeth] was at her best and most affectionate when she was with Blanche and Alfred Knopf -- "I always felt that they must have played together as children" -- and he remembered a dinner party with the Knopfs and Elizabeth as "a kind of blaze of happiness.


The clipping is from an October 4 edition of the New York Times, in which Penelope Green writes about interviewing Patti Smith:


"I just do my work, and I work every day, and my ambition is just to do something better than I last did," she said. "I'd like to write something as great as Pinocchio or Little Women. I won't say Moby-Dick because that's impossible. I'd like to write a book that everybody loves. I'd like to take a picture that someone wants to put above their desk so they can look at it while they're writing a letter or doing whatever they're doing while sitting at their desk. I'd like to do a painting that would astonish people."

But books are her deepest love, and writing them is clearly her keenest ambition. When she received her advance from Knopf, the publisher of M Train, she bought a bronze statue of a young boy who has caught a bird in his hands; she set it in her tangled front yard here.

"It was my dream to be with Knopf since I was 20," she said. "I wanted to have something solid to mark that. I bought him because he reminded me of Peter Pan."
zirconium: doll with bike @High Point Doll Museum (doll with bike)
In Dan Chiasson's recent NYT feature on Robert Rauschenberg's archives:


In a file cabinet, personal letters from the choreographer Trisha Brown and Al Gore shared folders with a clipped-out New York Times review of a sushi place and a cartoon of a guy taking his pet radish for a walk. The impression is of a life in which making art was, to a remarkable degree, an extension of friendship.
zirconium: snapshot of my healthiest hollyhock plant (French hollyhock)
Today's subject line comes from Sam Anderson's piece in the NYT Magazine on blind contour drawing:


It turns out that the world, on close examination, is gloriously strange. Things are lumpier and hairier than we have been led to believe. . . . Sleeve wrinkles can be as beautiful as the most exotic flower. Every object (book, pencil, glove, banana) is in fact a bewildering universe of lines.


Today has been a letting-my-brain-regrow day, what with logging over sixty hours of work this week between the day job and a side project. There have been some weird-even-for-me meals, what with the piling up of dishes and deferring of grocery shopping and miscalculating of minutes left in my lunch break: today's mint-chard-miso soup was a result of me shredding the greens and herbs for a salad on Thursday, realizing I had to returning to the office before I'd finished assembling the salad, and then coming home to a frozen slab of leaves because I'd neglected to wrap the plate in plastic wrap before shoving it into the fridge. Oops.

I was stone tired all this morning, so for breakfast and lunch I supplemented the leftovers with runny fufu:

fufu

For dessert, some jello I'd made with agar-agar I'd bought as a prop for my Heartbreak Happy Hour performance back in February:

Filipino agar-agar bar agar-agar dessert cups

For dinner, I might roast a chicken. But the BYM is frolicking with goats today, so maybe I'll just make another mint-chard salad and do the rest of the dishes and trim dead leaves from the tomato jungle:

tomato plant

Without the cooking and cleaning and contemplation, there would not be the stamina for helping with the constructing and chronicling of more glamorous events and exhibitions:

The Frist Center at night
zirconium: sculpture of owl at Cheekwood, Nashville (Cheekwood owl)
Michael Kimmelman, in a November 30, 1997 NYT review of Jenny Uglow's Hogarth:


This extravagantly detailed biography by Jenny Uglow is less a book of art history than a history of Hogarth's milieu. Much of his character, and the book's, is encapsulated in the colorful story Uglow recounts of a woman named Mary Tofts, who claimed to have become so obsessed with rabbits after failing to catch several of them in a field she was weeding that she suffered a miscarriage and began to deliver animals and animal parts. Fashionable medical men verified her story, among them a certain Nathanael St. Andre, a Swiss who was Anatomist to the Royal Household and a teacher of fencing and dancing before he took up surgery, who announced that he had personally delivered her of several rabbits.

This put Londoners off rabbit stew for a while. Then Mary conceded the hoax and St. Andre was forced to make a public apology. It was the sort of ripe event that Hogarth, like any tabloid cartoonist today, couldn't resist: absurd, bawdy, a perfect opportunity to skewer self-proclaimed experts like St. Andre and his fellow quacks, and also to strike a blow against mystification, which Hogarth despised in all forms, whether from doctors or politicians or art critics. His print "Cunicularii," or "The Rabbit Warren," sold briskly.
zirconium: Unitarian Universalist chalice with pink triangle as base (rainbow chalice)
Marlon James, in the NYT Magazine (March 10, 2015), on his first days in Minnesota, as a new instructor at Macalester College:


Seven days in, I put on jogging shoes and didn't stop running until I saw something I liked, the downtown Minneapolis skyline. For a man always fearing what people thought, I was suspicious of "Minnesota nice," everybody smiling and saying hello while they kept walking. But by the end of the first week, somebody I'd just met gave me a bicycle to get around; someone else bought me coffee mugs. Another professor, Casey, who moved here to teach as well, was into the band My Bloody Valentine and "Project Runway."


http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/15/magazine/from-jamaica-to-minnesota-to-myself.html
zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
I attended a memorial service for the extraordinary Elizabeth Papousek this morning. At the end of the service, Rev. Seavey said that opening the hymnal at random (a habit of Elizabeth's at worship committee meetings) had led her to these words of Maria Mitchell (a Unitarian as well as an astronomer):


Small as is our whole system compared with the infinitude of
creation,

Brief as is our life compared with the cycles of time,

We are so tethered to all by the beautiful dependencies of law,

That not only the sparrow’s fall is felt to the uttermost bound but the vibrations set in motion by the words that we utter reach through all space and the tremor is felt through all time.


After the reception, I stopped at the Green Hills library, where some Advent calendars from the collection of the Steele Family were on display, including one featuring planets and stars:

Advent calendar

Advent calendar

(I also saw three other church members at the library while I was there. My tribe indeed.)
zirconium: snapshot of me at class in Israel (me with M14)
From Dorothy Wickenden's Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West (Scribner, 2011):


Sam [Perry] doted on Marjorie, his firstborn, treating her like a son. Every year she accompanied him on a weeks-long hunting expedition. As one newspaper account described her, "Wearing a heavy flannel shirt and chaps, like a cowboy of the plains, she has ridden through the wildest regions of the state, shooting deer and bear and even an occasional mountain lion." One year she returned with a bear cub she named Perrywinkle and kept in her parents' backyard in Denver. (As an older woman, when her two favorite dogs died, she skinned them and used their pelts as rugs.)



(On a side note, there is nothing like reading about pioneer wives to snap me out of a pity party right fast. Good God, what those women endured.)

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