Friday, May 27, 2011

A Taste of a Tornado

Local residents here were always told we were pretty much safe from tornados even though we are in the midwestern US where such twisters are fairly frequent. Because we are sandwhiched between the Wisconsin bluffs and the Minnesota bluffs that bound the Mississippi River, we always believed that any tornado would hop from one bluff to the other right over us. Some also believed the old Indian belief that tornados don't appear where 3 rivers meet like here. However there was a tornado here in 1966, not any since though. So it was a shock Saturday, May 21 when we were struck by a tornado. Luckily it was not as powerful as those recently experienced in Alabama and Missouri, but it was frightening enough to make us all thank God we were spared to the extent we were. It awed and humbled all of us. I missed being in the path by not much more than a mile, but there were 200 homes and many businesses that were not so lucky. We lost over 600 trees, many of them were huge and over 100 years old. Considering the degree of trauma this community has suffered, it is inconceivable to imagine the pain and loss felt by so many this Spring in this country who lost so much more. They can all use our prayers and assistance any way possible. The following photos are reprinted from the La Crosse Tribune.

Monday, May 23, 2011

We Are Seven by William Wordsworth

A simple child,
That lightly draws its breath,
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death?

I met a little cottage girl:
She was eight years old, she said;
Her hair was thick with many a curl
That clustered round her head.

She had a rustic, woodland air,
And she was wildly clad;
Her eyes were fair, and very fair;
—Her beauty made me glad.

"Sisters and brothers, little maid,
How many may you be?"
"How many? Seven in all," she said,
And wondering looked at me.

"And where are they? I pray you tell."
She answered, "Seven are we;
And two of us at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea.

"Two of us in the churchyard lie,
My sister and my brother;
And in the churchyard cottage, I
Dwell near them with my mother."

"You say that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea,
Yet ye are seven! — I pray you tell,
Sweet maid, how this may be."

Then did the little maid reply,
"Seven boys and girls are we;
Two of us in the churchyard lie,
Beneath the churchyard tree."

"You run about, my little maid,
Your limbs they are alive;
If two are in the churchyard laid,
Then ye are only five."

"Their graves are green, they may be seen,"
The little maid replied,
"Twelve steps or more from my mother's door,
And they are side by side.

"My stockings there I often knit,
My kerchief there I hem;
And there upon the ground I sit,
And sing a song to them.

"And often after sunset, sir,
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.

"The first that died was sister Jane;
In bed she moaning lay,
Till God released her of her pain;
And then she went away.

"So in the churchyard she was laid;
And, when the grass was dry,
Together round her grave we played,
My brother John and I.

"And when the ground was white with snow,
And I could run and slide,
My brother John was forced to go,
And he lies by her side."

"How many are you, then," said I,
"If they two are in heaven?"
Quick was the little maid's reply,
"O master! we are seven."

"But they are dead; those two are dead!
Their spirits are in heaven!"
'T was throwing words away; for still
The little maid would have her will,
And say, "Nay, we are seven!"

Monday, May 16, 2011

My latest listings: 14 Best Fairy Friends!

BFFF: Best Fairy Friends Forever!
Hortense and Prudence

Sophronia and Theodosia

Lydia and Winnifred

Pippa and Hester

Flora and Edwina

Alva and Almyra

Eudora and Lulu
Such fun to create! These wee fairy folk were constructed using fine fairy parts from Paper Whimsy's Gothic Fairy Collection!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Hill Wife by Robert Frost


Her Word

One ought not to have to care
So much as you and I
Care when the birds come round the house
To seem to say good-bye;

Or care so much when they come back
With whatever it is they sing;
The truth being we are as much
Too glad for the one thing

As we are too sad for the other here --
With birds that fill their breasts
But with each other and themselves
And their built or driven nests.


Always -- I tell you this they learned --
Always at night when they returned
To the lonely house from far away
To lamps unlighted and fire gone gray,
They learned to rattle the lock and key
To give whatever might chance to be
Warning and time to be off in flight:
And preferring the out- to the in-door night,
They. learned to leave the house-door wide
Until they had lit the lamp inside.


Her Word

I didn't like the way he went away.
That smile! It never came of being gay.
Still he smiled- did you see him?- I was sure!
Perhaps because we gave him only bread
And the wretch knew from that that we were poor.
Perhaps because he let us give instead
Of seizing from us as he might have seized.
Perhaps he mocked at us for being wed,
Or being very young (and he was pleased
To have a vision of us old and dead).
I wonder how far down the road he's got.
He's watching from the woods as like as not.


She had no saying dark enough
For the dark pine that kept
Forever trying the window-latch
Of the room where they slept.

The tireless but ineffectual hands
That with every futile pass
Made the great tree seem as a little bird
Before the mystery of glass!

It never had been inside the room,
And only one of the two
Was afraid in an oft-repeated dream
Of what the tree might do.


It was too lonely for her there,
And too wild,
And since there were but two of them,
And no child,

And work was little in the house,
She was free,
And followed where he furrowed field,
Or felled tree.

She rested on a log and tossed
The fresh chips,
With a song only to herself
On her lips.

And once she went to break a bough
Of black alder.
She strayed so far she scarcely heard.
When he called her --

And didn't answer -- didn't speak --
Or return.
She stood, and then she ran and hid
In the fern.

He never found her, though he looked
And he asked at her mother's house
Was she there.

Sudden and swift and light as that
The ties gave,
And he learned of finalities
Besides the grave.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Swan by Mary Oliver

Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river?
Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air -
An armful of white blossoms,
A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned
into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies,
Biting the air with its black beak?
Did you hear it, fluting and whistling
A shrill dark music - like the rain pelting the trees - like a waterfall
Knifing down the black ledges?
And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds -
A white cross Streaming across the sky, its feet
Like black leaves, its wings Like the stretching light of the river?
And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?

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