Tuesday, November 16, 2021


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Remember when Blogger told us that following blogs by email would end over the summer? It hasn't happened. Is it a way of lulling us into complacency and then suddenly slapping us with the loss? 

Do some of you who comment here have blogs that I'm not following? I look at profiles when they're available and don't always see a blog listed. If you follow/visit me, then I'd like to check out your blog. 

I continue to see that my comments don't always show up on your blogs, including when you don't have comment moderation enabled and I can see the comment before I depart. I swear I'm visiting you! Where do the comments go?

Do you have (American) Thanksgiving plans? I told Sweet Cheeks I will prepare a feast if he will join me. He accepted my invitation immediately, and I have already purchased most of the fixins.

A police officer knocked on my door last week. My son had to request that an officer accompany him so he could get more of his belongings from my garage. Everything went well. He is obeying the restraining order and has not disturbed my peace.

I received a summons for jury duty a while back. The first time I was to be there, I got in an accident on the interstate and had to call to explain why I hadn't arrived. The lovely lady who answered the phone for jury services told me it was okay and she would reschedule my service. The second time I was to be there, I dropped the hedge clippers on my foot the day before and had difficulty walking. The lovely lady rescheduled me for yesterday. On Friday I received a text and email telling me the court session was canceled and I did not need to appear. Hallelujah! 

Franklin's thyroid levels were checked again last week. The vet said they're spot on. With cooler temps, we're enjoying some long walks. Franklin no longer turns around to head for home after a short distance. Walking feels good, and it's good for us. 

If you decorate for Christmas, when do you set out your decorations? I usually decorate the day after Thanksgiving. I love the flashing of those pretty, little lights.

I hope you're having a great week.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Thursday, November 11, 2021


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Let's continue: What are you reading? What are you watching? What are you working on around the house? What are you chastising yourself about because you haven't worked on it? What have you done that's fun or relaxing or enjoyable? Fill me in.

If you read my first Whatcha Doin' post, then you know what I'm reading.

I've been watching The Comey Rule, which consists of four episodes on Netflix. It's a Showtime production that aired not long before the 2020 election. I thought it was excellent. It was especially interesting to see how James Comey's descriptions of his meetings with Donald Trump compared with Trump's statements about their interactions. Comey is played by Jeff Daniels, while Brendan Gleason has the odious task of portraying Trump.

I would characterize Trump and his staffers as deliberately obtuse. I say deliberate because they seemed to have no interest in correct information or understanding how the government does business. Of course, Trump fired Comey from his post as FBI Director, to which he had been appointed by President Obama. He seemed to think it was Comey's job to support Trumpland and its lies rather than to be loyal to the American people and the constitution.

Andrew McCabe (played by Michael Kelly) became the acting director of the FBI following Comey's departure. Trump infamously fired McCabe the day before he was to retire.  I noticed he was back in the news recently because his wrongful termination lawsuit led to the reinstatement of his pension and other benefits

You know my work around the house has included cleaning out my closet. Now I'm partway through cleaning out the coat closet in the foyer. It looks so much better already. I don't know if I'll also get to the storage closet in the foyer. It might have to wait. I'm just plain getting tired of cleaning out closets.

I'm chastising myself––not too strongly––because I haven't made all the appointments I need to take care of before the job begins. But tomorrow is another day, and this afternoon, my hair is my priority.

Fun, relaxing, and enjoyable can all be applied to weekend visits with Sweet Cheeks. He no longer speaks of going home Saturday night. He simply stays. Recently as I lay in his arms, he said, Everything is good between us because we love each other.

That's pretty hard to beat.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Wednesday, November 10, 2021


 With my friends at Two Men and A Little Farm, I can ponder such topics as, What do cows like to talk about when we can't hear them? and What do cows find humorous about people?


Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

My title comes from two recollections I had today. One is of a young woman I knew many years ago when I was an even younger woman. She was from Boston and told me how she hated it when Midwesterners replaced hi with hey.* I did not mention how it grated on my nerves when she said youse guys. The second is of a little girl who used to spend a lot of time with her grandparents next door.* When she spotted me she always called out, Hi! How are ya? 

So now I give you a hey and express a desire to know how you are and what's going on with you. What are you reading? What are you watching? What are you working on around the house? What are you chastising yourself about because you haven't worked on it? What have you done that's fun or relaxing or enjoyable? Fill me in.

To celebrate my job offer, I ordered a hardcover copy of Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath by Heather Clark. I did not realize I was getting a 1,000 page book, so for the next year when you ask what I'm reading, I'll probably answer Red Comet.

Plath is one of my two favorite poets. The other is Emily Dickinson. At page 140 in Red Comet, I'm thrilled by Clark's analysis of Plath's work, how it relates to her life, and how it changed as her skills and viewpoints developed. Clark uses a lot of quotations from letters and Plath's journals. I never noticed before that for all of Sylvia Plath's intelligence and fine education, she did not spell well, so (sic) turns up frequently. 

In her Prologue, I was thrilled to read Clark's goal: I hope to free Plath from the cultural baggage of the past fifty years and reposition her as one of the most important American writers of the twentieth century. . . . She ought to be remembered for her transcendent, trailblazing poems, not for gassing herself in her kitchen.

Loving Plath's poetry should not relegate one to a misogynistic concept of a suicide-loving cult. I find the relationship between Plath's life and her poetry of particular relevance because of the confessional aspect of her work, but she should not be read as merely confessional. There is so much more to her writing, and Plath herself said that she did not approve of what she called unformed cries from the heart.

I'm also fascinated by Plath's life because I see her as an emblem of the 1950's young woman who has been shaped by views of what a woman's life should be, yet she wants more. Plath wanted to marry and have children and be a wonderful cook and keep a lovely home, and she wanted to be an artist; and it is very hard to be a wife and a mother and a housekeeper and a cook and a laundress and find the time and energy for artistry or anything else.

I also wanted and wanted and was weighed down by expectations. 

Red Comet is my family room book––the book I read when I'm in that room. In my bedroom, I read on my kindle. My current book is Joyce Maynard's latest novel: Count The Ways. I might end up liking it even more than my favorite Maynard book, Labor Day. When my eyes are tired or I want to have my hands and eyes free to embroider, then I listen to an Audible book. At the moment it's Wild by Cheryl Strayed, which thus far does not impress me. I saw the movie version long ago. It didn't impress me either, but I retained hope for the book. Oh, well.

More to come. So much more to come.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

*I remember the young woman from Boston because of the elaborate story she told me about her wealthy newspaper-owning family. I learned later than none of it was true.

**The grandparents moved away. I wasn't sorry to see the whole kit and caboodle go. I had once caught a glimpse of their kitchen and was shocked by the filth. After they left, I learned the entire house was in sad condition, with mold hanging like lace from the ceilings and fleas in the carpets. I hope the child's health wasn't damaged by the time she spent there. 

Sunday, November 7, 2021


 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

I owe you all a huge apology for not writing to you in such a long time and not even publishing your most recent comments until today. I have been at war with an invader.

About two weeks ago, I realized my closet had been raided. I thought it was limited to a single aggressor who frolicked around my shoes and left his nasty calling card in a pair of yellow pumps. Then I noticed he had danced on top of a jewelry box with his mousy girlfriend.

As I vanquished closet detritus, I discovered he had brought his entire family along. At least I didn't have to see their ugly faces.

I'm not pleased that mice have been in my closet, and I find it odd that Franklin and Penelope didn't notice them; but it was a good opportunity for me to throw out old bank statements and other papers, and gifts of tchotchkes I never wanted. I took everything out of the closet, cleaned each shelf thoroughly, and added cotton balls soaked in vinegar. I'll replace the cotton balls regularly and if they don't keep the marauders at bay, then we'll have to hire an exterminator to figure out where they get in because I have no clue.

My closet is now gorgeous and spacious. I didn't take BEFORE pictures, but here's AFTER in its shining vinegarized glory:

Because I have accepted my fate as a woman of a certain age who no longer wears a heel higher than a quarter of an inch, many of my shoes can go, so now each shoe and slipper has its own cubby:

But we all know what happens after one area has been cleaned and organized. Now it's on to the closets in the foyer.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug