Monday, May 23, 2011

Her computer is behaving nicely, for once! So she's back!

I will not bore you with all the horrible stuff I have been dealing with.  Let's just say THANK YOU to Genius Simon Verkhovsky, who came to my house at about seven p.m. on a Tuesday to help me figure out what is wrong with my computer.  He left at noon on Wednesday.  Simon managed to fix about half of the things that were wrong with it.  Also, Genius Bryce Shashinka's  mother forced him to drive to Beacon from Connecticut on his day off to see if HE could figure out what phantom program was sending my CPU usage to the limit and slowing everything to molasses.  It took him from 7 pm to 1 am, but HE FIGURED IT OUT!  He fixed my screwy e-mail and Microsoft Outlook problem, and all the things that have kept me from putting up web sites, etc!  I am on the floor, prostrate, in gratitude, to these two excellent men!

So now that I have a purring computer, instead of one that coughs and sputters, you'd think I'd write a nice long letter, wouldn't you?  Well, I will.  But now I've got about two weeks' worth of backed up stuff I have to take care of.  But here are some musings---

A Picture Worth a Thousand Words

When I was little my parents had a friend who was a famous photographer.  He wanted to enter a contest about taking photographs of children, so he asked my parents if I could model for him.  This was in about 1959, I think, when color film was a big and exciting (and also very expensive) plaything.

He was very picky about the colors he wanted Mom to dress me in, and she put me in a little jumper apron to make sure I would stay clean for at least the hour or so when he'd be taking pictures of me.  I remember him sitting me in our bay window and adjusting the drapes behind me, and telling me not to wiggle around so much.  He tooks lots and lots of photos.  Here's the picture that not only won the contest, but graced the cover of the photography magazine:

It was my mother's favorite picture of me.

Now you may ask, why did he bother to make such a fuss about the color of her dress, when he took a black and white photo?  Here's a test photo that explains that, and also why artists' models are not to be allowed to play with colored pencils:

And that was my Dad's favorite picture of me!

Spring Has Sprung

I am busy trying to get a garden in, in between downpours.  Of course, when such terrible things are happening to people along the Mississippi and other rivers, it's not polite to complain.  When things dry out a little I'll put in my vegetable beds.  In the meantime, though, I was able to plant my strawberry pot. 

I bought the pot for Robert last year, and tried about three times to get strawberries started in it.  They all fizzled.  I finally transplanted a plant from the neighbor's yard that had grown under our fence.  That took off like crazy, and the pot was certainly pretty last summer, brimming with lots of healthy plants accented with beautiful and completely inedible strawberries.  So this year I tried again, purchasing new, actually edible strawberry plants, but of course, they died.  I repeated this again, but finally I concluded that whatever was going to grow in this pot, it wasn't going to be strawberries. 

Now, I love parsley and use lots of it in the summer to make tabooli salad (cracked wheat; chopped tomato, onions, parsley; fresh mint; lemon; and olive oil).  So I planted the pot full of parsley.  A few days later, when the plants had had time to adjust, wow!  So pretty!  Like a fluffy fountain of green lace, cascading down over my favorite cat sculpture!  It was so gorgeous and lush, I decided to take a picture of it before I harvested any of it, but I found I had to charge the camera battery first.  That took a while.  Here's the photo:

Yes!  Denuded!  Murdered!  Wiped out!  Destroyed!  In only about 45 minutes!  By whom?  

And here's the sneaky culprit, peeking out of his hole under the fence that abuts my neighbor's shed.  Though these creatures are called groundhogs in the midwest and woodchucks in the northeast, Robert and I call them "munchies," with good reason. Notice that I was being NICE to this munchie, trying to entice him away from my flowers and gardens with offerings of carrots.  It turns out he doesn't care much for carrots, but he LOVES him some parsley...

 I wish they weren't so darn cute.  Damn you, munchies!    

These were the pitifully unsuccessful lengths I went to last year to keep the rotten munchies from eating everything.

All I can say is, wish me luck.
Other stuff
There are so many things I haven't written about!  The whole trip to Greece and Turkey, and all the cool things we did there, and my book tour of Michigan.  Then there was that fun week spent in North Carolina and environs, where we stayed in a fancy million-dollar beach house owned by our friend Norma's pals, to celebrate her birthday with her there.  We also visited other friends Marguerite, in Baltimore, and the Smith family and our dear Ken Jones, in Virginia.

I am busy at my computer as an editor for Dark Moon Books.  My second Callie Sadler mystery, Dry As Bones, has an end-of-June proposed publication date.  But we still find time for other new pursuits.  On Saturday, Robert spent the day at a recording studio, narrating a movie about space aliens while I went on an audition at a talent agency, where they hire backgound talent (the fancy name for movie extras).  It was so funny to be in the casting office, where the young, pretty things were told to drop their resumes and headshots in the basket on the desk, but I instantly got four shooting dates, for two movies and a TV show! (Unfortunately, I don't know any more about them than that).

Robert and I were extras in a movie last fall and had fun doing it.  It pays better than my doggy-babysitting job does, and you get to meet a lot of interesting people.  How excellent that having gray hair, a dumpy figure and wrinkles is, for once, highly desirable to more people than just my husband!  I will be playing an old lady in a nursing home, a hospital patient, and someone sitting in a cafe.  I'll keep you informed.    
Tonight we are having company--a young man has moved in across the street.  His name is Craig.  He is a graphic artists and a sound engineer, and he has offered to help us get our recording studio set up.  So we're happy about that, and even more happy just to have a cool and fun new neighbor!

Hope you are all well! 

Love, R and F