Tuesday, August 15, 2006


The atmosphere was magically moody as I got the paper this morning. The Rose of Sharon blooms are at last beginning to fall, spent, to the ground across our front hedge, while a clump of Korean day lilies, with their eerie, leafless stems, rose suddenly in the side yard and our rope plant sent forth its peculiarly plastic-looking blossoms in celebration of late summer.

After Morning Offering Jim was most eager to get cutting, as the forecast was for rain and possible storms all day. This is a very rainy summer compared to our norm. By now, Kentucky is usually in full draught and Jim is mowing his customers’ lawns every other week. This year, however, the heavens have been generously pluvious and Jim is still mowing weekly, for the most part. In the event Jim did get all his lawns manicured. It was a close call but he did it by giving up his lunch hour.

Meanwhile I reworked the science section one last time in Chapter One of The Choice 101. Then I re-did the Free Will section throughout. It is a lot closer to what I would like, but it still does not “pop” so I will tackle it anew tomorrow morning.

After lunch I consulted with Gary briefly on the new text for the order form we have on line for our books and other items and then came back to the office to tackle e-mail. During the afternoon I wrote back and forth to some classmates of mine from MacDuffie, the school from which I graduated with a high school degree in 1961. It’s an unusual situation, where I was asked to be class captain this year and write everyone in my class to get some new news from my classmates and stir up a possible show of force at the reunion itself.

It is so tempting to go to the reunion this year I have decided to attend it. The kicker is that one of my oldest friends, Beth K-H, has won the Distinguished Alumna award this year. She’s a professor of languages and literature at the University of Chicago and has written a good many books and articles through the years. Her most recent book is Rural Scenes and National Representation: Britain, 1815-1850, published by the University of Chicago. She is currently taking a sabbatical from teaching to write another book about the British.

Beth, Ann, Helen and I were already sending desultory e-mails back and forth suggesting ways to have our own private reunion. When Beth won the award, it galvanized us four ladies into making some plans. So the e-mails were buzzing between us today! It should be a great time together next October when the reunion takes place, in Springfield, Massachusetts. It will be wonderful there at that time of year, with the trees all turning amidst the Yankee scene of well-preserved charm and beauty. We won’t talk about the unfortunate soot and dirt of the northeast industrial corridor!

I also caught up with every single remaining e-mail from both Gary and Ian – there were about a half-dozen from each as they worked together to create a really complete new order form. We have needed to change suggested donation amounts for each item for some time as our costs rise and finally we are doing that. I think the new form is a lot easier to use than previous versions. We have it up now on our “not-so-secret” page on the archive site, which is found by clicking on the Don Quixote image at the top left of the Home Page.

We still do not have the PayPal option on our order form. That shall need to wait until such time as we get the B4 site up under new management. But people can always order from us by fax or telephone message, using information on our site, as well as by snail mail.

Writing some letters to friends ended my work day and I went out to garden as Jim got home and began his maintenance routine on his mowing and gardening tools. We enjoyed the sweet, humid, lowering, dramatic weather and got sprinkled upon as we dashed back inside for our bath.

After a most riveting Amy Goodman news hour, where she talked most notably with Seymour Hirsch about the Lebanon-Israeli dispute, and World Music, we went downstairs to eat and offer the Gaia Meditation, after which Jim and I went into the downstairs office and processed book orders until bedtime.

I wish people would be extra-careful when writing down their charge card numbers. We had to write a seeker in New Zealand to get his correct number and that will delay his order, with the mail so slow between here and there. This kind of error occurs all too often and I feel badly for the people awaiting their books.

The kittens were a delight as we filled out the QuickBooks forms and wrapped packages. Those little characters get absolutely everywhere. Chloe ended up the evening with the prize for the most unusual sitting position: she draped herself over a couple of wildly uneven stacks of books and looked uncomfortable but adorable.

We watched some junk TV with all four cats and ended our evening at 11 PM. Sedgie has virtually stopped taking food, so I suppose the end of his sweet and devoted kitty-cat life is near. He was sitting on my chest purring fervently for a good half hour this evening and not showing signs of discomfort, so we will enjoy him for a brief little while yet, I hope. However, clearly he is nearing his passage away from this life and through the gates into kitty heaven – or as is more likely, since Sedge is indeed a devoted and loving cat, he will return as a third-density human for his next lifetime.