Monday, July 5, 2010

Credit where it's due and other books

To note the official holiday, not that I actually get one (!) it's time for what I've read and what I'm about to read. Since the weather is heatwaving, these are not so much patio and beach books as cool living room books.

The dolls are posing with their book of origin, which I got from the library, but am now buying in order to give the writer her due for this lovely book. I didn't follow her patterns very closely, made Icord for the arms and legs, changed the way of doing the face, altered the stitching -- doll two is in garter stitch -- but used her basic recipes and had a great time doing it. More dolls will follow, I think, and I have a notion where they might go after they've had a good time at my house.

Doll two is completely made with harvested yarn. The underwear which she didn't want to show, is the lacy deal doll one has, knitted from cotton yarn from a sweater, and her dress is a piece of the sweater which I cut and adapted without unraveling it. The hair is black chenille yarn, since she didn't like her first do, as seen in the Bad Food picture, and requested dreads instead. So she got her dreads.

Then there's Rita Mae Brown's book on Animal Magnetism. She's a magnetic writer herself, and this one is touching and full of terrific wisdom and some sly humor, as well as her own biases -- she's a southerner through and through, still refers to the War Between the States. But like a quirky relative you ignore the bits that annoy and look at the great writing and lovely home photos of her with various of her animals, horses, about which she knows a lot, dogs, cats, she knows her wildlife, too, and cares for it, and understands the social lives of the creatures she shares her life with.

It seems to be Southern Women time, since Bailey White has cropped up again. She's from the deep South, stories of people who are most probably very much like her real relatives, very very funny and respectful at the same time. She used to do the occasional feature on public radio, in a massive deep contralto voice, wonderful broadcast sound, and I always thought she was some old lady, judging from her pace and opinions, and was stunned to see this pretty young woman on her book covers. She is so worth reading.

Neither of these writers require that you be a card carrying US resident, since their writing is simply so good it doesn't need footnotes. Just as the dollbook lady who is a Brit doesn't need translation either.

Then there's future writing, lying in wait for me: two Brits, Fay Weldon, who is unfailingly brilliant and incisive even at her most irritating (!) and a new writer to me, writing about her childhood with birds and learning falconry, the sort of highly specialized life I have no other way of knowing about unless people like Emma Ford tell me about them.

So that's the reading front.

Speaking of credit where it's due: thank you so much for the outpouring of emails and other communications about my recent post on caregiving. Just wonderful stuff. It helps more than you can know! and I hope nobody is now gunshy about saying the wrong thing to caregivers. Even if you think you've done it in the past, now you know and you will figure out other ways of saying stuff. And life's too short for a caregiver to go on being annoyed forever.

When in doubt, ask. If you want to help and don't know how, ask how you can help. Most of us have found ways of responding even people like me who are terrible at asking for help. Or offer to do a specific thing and ask if that would work. Like the neighbor who tells me when she's going to a great farmers' market I can't get to, and asks what I would like while she's there. That kind of thing. It doesn't add to her tasks, since she just buys a bit more than she would, then figures out how much I owe her, which is usually a laughably small sum.

Or a snailmail card or letter, just wonderful in these days when the mail typically brings bills and advertising material. We have a collage on a downstairs door that HP can easily see, of all kinds of cards and photos friends have sent us over the last year. It is enjoyed for ages.

That kind of thing. Just ways of keeping us both connected with the world, doesn't have to be elaborate.

So now it's the second Day of Bad Food, which is in fact the rest of the Bad Food which comes in packages too big for us for one meal. Hotdogs and rolls again, with the usual pickles, relish, ketchup, mustard, beans, potato chips....etc. must dash. Or, in view of the temp climbing to nearly 100, must proceed...

1 comment:

  1. Live Journal is not very co-operative these past few times I've tried to post, but we'll see how this one goes. I've enjoyed the last few of your postings ever so much. And your one on caregiving help etc was just so excellently done. Hope you can manage the heat ok. Yum, I love hotdogs and all the stuff that goes on them!


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