The pimping out of the goose is about done. I balked at mopping.
   This is how the guest nook fits into the master nook. It may look big in the picture, but the building is 16 by 22 feet, as is this room and the one downstairs, so don't be misled.
    I think Hillary should have me decorate the White House.


your room is ready

Well, ok, it' not a room, it's a nook in my bedroom. So now one-quarter of the Goose is prepped for what promises to be several visitors. some of whom will be living in their Airstream. And now for the other three-quarters and the exterior. If it quits raining.


a hole in the sky

On a dirt road with no traffic.
Sometimes the sky is so beautiful I can hardly stand it. And mostly I can't stop to take its picture. Have I mentioned that there are no shoulders on most of the paved roads here? In fact, quite otherwise: a dropoff. A wheel off the road and you're rolling over in a ditch. So not easy to take pix while driving.
A required stop. Note bird shit on window.


keeping warm

 It was pushing a hundred degrees, so naturally I finished the sweater I started working on in winter. I was afraid Camilla would have outgrown it—after all, she heads for kindergarten in the fall, but apparently I made it just big enough. They are her favorite colors, BTW, not mine—though it does rather match the color of the floor. And my toenail polish, come to think of it.



In yard news, the hummingbirds are back. I only had a couple, but their numbers have been increasing daily, and yesterday there were about a dozen. 
Also, remember that weird squash? I planted some seeds and a couple are already up. Summer won't last long enough for them to come to fruition, but fun anyway. 

In other news—but I won't bother you about the convention. You know all that.

However, this is a very interesting article about the inherent problem of documentary work. It goes for still photography and writing as well as for film. Keep reading til you hit the point where the (Bronx born, Puerto Rican) filmmaker says, "have you ever seen a documentary about rich white people made by poor black people?"
Here is an article about a white person doing documentary work on her own kind: Donna Ferrato.
And finally, an article that I find very troubling because I know too many women in this situation, women who because of divorce, job loss, bad planning or other factors find themselves without enough money to live. And, yes, they are mostly women. I don't know what to do about it, but I don't think eliminating government safety nets will trickle down to help them. Maybe they should move to the Ozarks.


today's specials

This sign would be fairly unremarkable in the Ozarks, but for the fact that it's at a grocery store.


say "road trip!"

Aaand. . . Guess what the price of gas is here now!



Putting on an eight-hour lunch is no small feat, but David and Alison managed it. It was mostly a vegetarian delight, with grilled eggplant, fresh tomatoes and watermelon, humuus, corn with mint, yogurt cakes baked in swiss chard wraps and she-crab chowder. The wine pairings were doubtless supurb, but how would I know? No, I am not posting pix of the food. You gotta draw the line somewhere.



OK, who can think of a better caption than I can?


swimming holes

OK, so I got a few more of those gourds at the farmer's market yesterday. But then, unexpectedly, we went on a tour of some of the beauty spots/swimming holes nearby. Sadly, I did not have my bathing suit (not that that would have stopped me ten years ago, but I am more considerate these days). Definitely some good spots! Fairly deserted, too. Next time: Outfits and floaties.



Headed for town. Maybe I'll find another one of those weird gourds.


the bitter truth

Yikes! So Ying sold me a bitter melon (kind of gourd, I guess, read here). I have eaten it in soup, but she told me that is for medicine. Better to cut open, chop and stir fry with some chicken. Well I put it on the counter, and the next day—pop! The dragon's maw yawned. Shocking colors! I took out the seeds and chopped it up and sauteed it in some olive oil. It was bitter in a good way and a little gooey. Supposed to be a good medicine for cancer, diabetes, etc. I think I'll plant the seeds. . .


the judgin'

Judges Dugan and Crider
We gathered in the Harlin Museum in an attempt to give the people of West Plains, Mo., the illusion that they have some culture. It was the photography show, and Bill Dugan had tapped photographer Dennis Crider and sometime photo critic Claudia Dowling to help him do the judgin'. Sadly, there wasn't much to judge, as Dugan had had to beg for entries. He managed to pry a handful out of the populace (and pad them out with a few of his own), and, with a bit of discussion, we arranged them in descending order.
   It was fun to see Dennis, former Quill employee, and hear about his latest project. He is to have a booth selling his wagon train prints at Branson's Silver Dollar City, which I take to be a western-themed mall. He has to wear a cowboy outfit!
   PS This post made Frank mad.  He thought I was saying West Plains had no culture. What I am complaining about is that they do not support their cultural institutions. Like the only museum in town. And actually, like Frank's former newspaper. Of course there are cultured (is that like yogurt?) people here—why do you think I keep coming back!


the kachina collector

Virginia comes from a line of collectors—her father bought entire houses just to store the stuff he bought at auction. She's trying to tone it down, but she is very proud of her collections of Native American memorabilia (she has Indian blood, she says), of her elaborate display of earrings in a case in her laundry room, of her storeroom of canned goods from milk to pork from her farm. "I wasn't raised poor, you know," she says. "Maybe later on. . ." She married a collector too. Randy, a Hatfield (yes, those Hatfields), collects old cars, animals, trailers, houses and people. The couple owns the abandoned house next door, and they appear to have collected me as well. Randy helped me put my new well in, and Virginia helps me clean up bugs. She was dressed so prettily, having just come from church, I had to take her picture.


the new dog

Well the town has a new dog this year, as usual. Not a young dog. Reminds me a bit of Luna, my sister's dog. It was very shy at the beginning but, after a few handouts, warmed up considerably. I succumbed to a bag of Gravy Train (with bacon!). And now, whenever she (?) feels a bit peckish—once or twice a day or every other day, she trots over and signals her readiness for a smackerel of something. Mind you, she still prefers cookouts.


the reveal

OK, it's really pink. Maybe it will age and dirty into a more clayish color. Or maybe not. But "papaya" is definitely an improvement on peeling "glass block" green. Anyway, this oil-based polyurthane paint is a vast improvement on garage floor paint, which was what the green was. I thought it would be tough. Not. The urethane floor enamel is hard to find. Maybe it's illegal to make now? But if you find it, stock up. It looks like it's going to wear well.


mountain view

Mountain View, Mountain Home—this area is littered with them. And I must say, the local propane tanks don't add to the view. A lot of these grounded submarines have their little topses painted red, as well. Which makes them super peculiar looking.
But on to other subjects.
Like, how much Mustang, on the border of Tibet and Nepal has changed since the year 1992, when I and a group of women were among the first trekkers allowed to enter the Kingdom of Lo. Now there's a new highway. We walked and rode ponies.
A very good panel discussion about women in photography, which I watched the entire two hours of, mainly to see the talented Maggie Steber do her dithery impression of herself.
Speaking of photography, Michael Gross, who went to Vassar at the same time I did and has made quite a career of covering the rich and famous, has a scandalous new book out about fashion photographers: Focus.  He has dished out a little extra material here.
And still speaking of photography, Fanny Ferrato and her sister Katherine Holden (both took their mothers' names) have launched their father Philip Jones Griffiths' website, with many fabulous works from his oeuvre, from the Beatles to Vietnam.
And that's probably all you can take for one day.



Patriotic Beer Shed patron, Alton, MO.
Patriotic baby waits for fireworks, Alton, Mo.

Patriotic, godfearing teens wait for fireworks, Alton, Mo.

They know how to celebrate in Alton, Mo. The whole town turned out for fireworks (really good ones), but first they had a local country band (Smith & Western!), a raffle and marching with the colors and prayer from the Boy Scouts. The entire crowd stood up with their hands on their hearts to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing along with the Star Spangled Banner, well warbled by a local woman. Kids rode ponies and a mechanical bull and kaBOOM!