hook you up

This screen shot was sent in by a faithful reader to prove that there is sometimes coordination between blog content and links to the wider world.
And speaking of links to the wider world, we have a couple to share.
Real Estate
A Rhode Island loft for rent.
A friend's New York studio for sale.
A rustic cottage on Block Island.
A chic cottage on Block Island.
A friend's three-bedroom on Fire Island
A one-bedroom on Fire Island
A teenage cousin's commercial on You Tube.
Morph yourself and a friend.
Video chat with (sometimes risque) strangers from all over the world.
Information as art
Friend Maggie Steber's photographs of Haiti's main street
That should keep you busy for the weekend. Ta til Monday!


really big snew

They say it's 17 inches in Central Park so far. And still coming down. . .


the traveling underpants 3

The undies have shown up in a new mystery location, modeled here by the mystery recipient, chanting "Walkin' round the house with my pants on my head, pants on my head." So far they have made their way from Alabama to New York to Massachusetts to ??
Can you guess where they are now?
Can you guess where they'll go next?


what to do

The Goose has been a post office, a b&b, a gift shop. Its most successful incarnation was as a cafe, with a juke box they usta blast and dance in the street on Saturday nights. Not a lot of town left these days, though the Eleven Point River still flows through it and the River's Edge Cafe across the street still does a good lunch business.
This being the season of finances, I'm trying to figure out how to make the Goose pay for its feed. There was the rental plan, but I really don't know who other than deer hunters wants to vacation in the middle of nowhere Ozark-America. So these other concepts have been floated:
Internet Cafe
Psychic Reader
Kayak Rental
Boiled Peanut Stand

What do you think?


traveling underpants 2

Yes, the undies have shown up in a new location!
Here they are in Massachusetts, where they shocked an underage schoolgirl.
Soon they may hit the road to—where?


tuning in, 1936

Guy Marshal Purcell, my grandfather, was born in Equality, Illinois, in 1886. He finished sixth grade and farmed before founding a seed and feed company. Following is part of a poem my mother wrote about "Farmer Purcell" for her forthcoming chapbook.

Saturday noon from his desk
Daddy broadcast a radio show on WGBF
serving southern Indiana,
Illinois and Kentucky.

Started with a cowbell
clanging several times,
I rang it when I was there.

Then Daddy spoke like a friendly
neighbor over the back fence,
“This is Farmer Purcell
with the oldest radio show
east of the Mississippi.”


the traveling underpants

This pair of (m? f?) underwear has followed me home from Alabama. They do not belong to me. Are they yours?
They might arrive at your house soon.


hope springs

C'mon, honey, let's you and I go for a ride on our motosickles, whaddya say? Apparently, one guy in our neighborhood has four bikes: two for him and two for his wife, his and hers and his and hers. And he likes to park them all together. So on alternate side of the street parking days, he rolls them, one by one, across the street and lines them up. This picture was made two days ago. But today, it will be almost 40 degrees, and maybe they could go for a little ride. Of course, the parking space is good until tomorrow. . .


signs of spring

So far the signs are only in the store—there is snow all over the ground on this Ash Wednesday, six weeks before the spring festival known as Passover or Easter.
Here is a report just in, verbatim, from our correspondent in Brazil, who says that like the swallows she too will return this spring: We just passe the Canaval Big Party.all country.crazy everywhare.drink & dance, I just go to beach that all .I'm not work ,every day for me is holiday.,,,, right...Love......lina


street art

Click on the pic and look at the puss on that kid!


the city

In the winter, you are lucky to live in the city. You do not have to have a car or know how to drive or meet people at the airport or shovel your driveway or drive drunk. It is true that people from out of town will pity you on account of your small kitchen, but you don't have to cook. You can order in food in many different languages and watch the Olympics on TV. Or you can go out to readings at Barnes and Noble. You can shop 24-7 and sled with the kids in the park if it snows. You do not have to pay for heat. You are free because nobody knows your name unless you are famous. And even if you are famous nobody will bother you when you shop at Zabar's for some St. Andre on sale. They might flick you a glance and look away. You are never weird because no matter how weird you are, somebody in the city is weirder.


nice kitty

Happy New Year, everybody! It's the year of the Tiger—my year. Let's hope it's grrrrreat for everybody.


the snow falls on. . .

This just in from the southern contingent! When CJH took this pic yesterday, the snow was still falling in Alabama.


season's greetings

Well, I guess you're all doing the same thing I am: Busily making heart-shaped cakes and frosting them in pink sprinkles, putting them on doilies and writing thoughtful notes to all of those I love. They're in the mail.


color scheme

It's hard for me to recognize my floor since the building did their new paint job. I don't know who decided that this milk chocolate color went well with the coffee elevator door and this mint green paint on the walls. Other tenants are using less appetizing descriptors for the colors, let me tell you.
Anyway, yesterday I almost suffered failure-to-get-off-at-my-floor while talking to this person who had paid me a visit the evening before. She is up Nawth collecting her furs. Ordinarily one doesn't need furs in Georgia unless the air conditioning is up real high, but this winter is an exception. In fact, Alabama and Georgia are expecting two inches of snow tomorrow.


at last!

We are finally having the promised snow! The soup, inspired by CJH of Talladega, is simmering on the stove—Hannah's hambone plus 15-bean mix and carrots, celery, parsley, onion, tomatoes. Now all that's left to do is stare out the window and maybe make a little foray out into snowland. Don't you wish you were here?


b mine

Valentine's Day approaches, and there's still time to order a trinket from our favorite on-line emporium. Not only that, but our favorite on-line emporium has a whole new website, including links to Wear Your Music, Coral Relief, the Block Island Collection, a new blog and such pricey items as the one shown here. Checkitout, Chickadees.


lonesome he

Parke, the African desert tortoise, has been rampaging up and down the stock tank that serves as his winter home. It seems like he senses spring in the Alabama air, the season when he gets to wander around the deck. Eventually, he'll move to his summer quarters outside in a pen. That's the thought anyway. No one really knows why Parke is so active. Maybe he wants a mate.
And speaking of lonesome tortoises, "Did I ever tell you about the time. . ."
It was back around 1962, and my father went on an expedition to the Galapagos Islands. Whether it was sponsored by National Geographic, I'm not really clear (being as I was 11 or something all I remember was that he was gone for a really long time), but he later did a story for the magazine.
Anyway, one day my father and a friend and former student, Robert Silmon Chase, scrambled down into the crater of an extinct volcano on one of the islands. And there they found a solitary tortoise, himself on the brink of extinction. The two men wrestled the 80-pound behemoth out of the caldera, and my father added it to the group of tortoises he would take back to the Bronx Zoo, where he was the curator of reptiles.
Once in the Bronx, however, the tortoises were failing to thrive—not least because, keepers finally discovered, one groundskeeper hated them and would get drunk and bash them in their heads. Still, concern for their preservation made my father return them to a reserve eventually set up in the Galapagos. When last year or so, he read about attempts to breed Lonesome George, (picture here) he wondered if maybe that wasn't the same tortoise he and Chase wrestled out of the volcano all those years ago.


missing pets

Goodbye to the dogs, or, as the Biologist calls them, my siblings. These are Kaya (top) and Ellie Mae. Didn't get good pix of Harley and Frazier.
And speaking of pets, one of my sister's two gerbils, black and white, died of old age recently during a garden club meeting. My sister wrote the following eulogy:

Your fur was light and fluffy,
Your life was filled with seeds,
You loved your little sister,
With unknown wants or needs.

O Yang, you will be mourned,
A lifetime free of sin,
And now we've lost our balance,
Being left only with Yin.

But though you met your end
In the heart of horticulture,
In the freezer now you lie,
Symbol of morticulture.


sweet home 2

About to leave the Rustic Palace for Home I.
In my backpack, in addition to the things I brought (are my friends here as sick of these clothes as I am?):
1 pound shelled pecans
1 apple
1 pack Q-tips
1 Magic Eraser sponge mop refill
1 bottle apsirin
1 book


table talk

We had an Entertainment the other night at the beautiful house of our stealth Talladega correspondent. The food was delightfully earthy, and the stories were heavenly (though in certain circles they might have gone "kerplop," as one guest says, "like a cow patty in the punchbowl").
Particularly heavenly were those about the local churches. Not so very long ago, the cops got a call from one minister's wife saying that she was afraid something had happened to her husband—he was at the church much later than usual. Something had: The police arrived to find him banging the organist on a table in the parish hall.
Then there's the other story about the grande dame who, after the midnight service on Christmas Eve, got in the back seat of her car and started yelling that someone had stolen the steering wheel.
Bless her heart.
I just love her.
This is how, in the South, you say someone is a complete nutcase.



On Saturday I had finally mustered up my mustard and was heading up the driveway (or road to the road) to do my WalMart's duty, when—oops.
Two trees across the road, the longleaf taken down by the oak.
Bobby came to the rescue. Along with, of course, Lucy. Bobby said he was here the day Lucy showed up. "I tried to run her off," he says. "I know how softhearted Jan is." He thinks Lucy looks like the dogs bred to fight and that she was tossed out of a car because she wouldn't fight. Bobby himself breeds Tennessee Walking Horses, and he has one promising colt that he likes to call "Early Retirement." That way he wouldn't be chainsawing out people's driveways on his day off. Speaking of softhearted.